Sensitization Vs. Sanitization

Whatever we do we understand the concept of First Time Right. How many of you agree with this statement? I am sure most of us who are reading through taking out your time would agree with the above statement. And, why not? After all we are all professionals in whatever we do. Whether you are a service engineer or manufacturing engineer or manager or just a home maker, we know the benefit of doing things first time right. It saves our time, money and energy in redoing the things or rework. Pretty simple isn’t it?

Now comes the real question how do we make it happen? Let’s talk about 2 similar sounding words. Though they have totally different meaning, but they help with similar result. I am talking about SENSITIZATION & SANITIZATION (my term for SANITATION). Both can work in tandem for best impact. But, we need to understand when and what to use.

Sensitization is soft in nature and more proactive, self-driven at times.

Sanitization is a very powerful mechanism to put things right

There is nothing RIGHT or WRONG, it’s just a perspective with which we judge things. However, what is important is to find more effective way of doing anything. So, coming back to the topic, most of the people, managers in a small shop or big corporate end up doing SANITIZATION of what they could have done in a better way with greater care to not get in to rework. But practically this happens more than often, this is what I hear from many people in different companies.

Let me go crude here with an example of SENSITIZATION Vs SANITIZATION. Let’s talk about shit issue?

It’s always better to shit in right place than to clean it when it is done in the wrong place

India was going through a big problem of no toilet culture in a lot of villages and even in smaller towns. A few years back with government change, when no one thought about this problem, this Modi government took this as a national drive in millions of toilets were made as a part of national sanitization from open toilet problem. All accolades went to the government. GREAT job done. But, could this problem have been avoided in the first place?

Well, the only possibility was to create AWARENESS & SENSITIZATION about the consequences of this problem. Had it been the case, the problem would have been much smaller than what it became to be.

When I think about it, I find just 1 reason why we end up doing rework or sanitization. Normally the ASK is “Do the QUALITY job as FAST as possible at LOWEST COST. Does it compromise the quality or cost of work? Of course, YES. Few years back, I came across a simple yet powerful message. Let’s look at it. You can get 2 of these 3 attributes of any work. To me it makes sense,

If you want SPEED & QUALITY, it won’t come CHEAP

If you want SPEED & CHEAP, it won’t come with QUALITY

If you want CHEAP & QUALITY, it won’t come FAST

There definitely is immense competition out there constantly mounting pressure on all levels, whether employees or middle management or executives. This term V.U.C.A (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) is the perfect camouflage to today’s problems. And it is true. Pace of change is so much that you can’t keep yourself attached to one priority or one problem at a time. You must divide your time dimension in to such small parts that you can handle multiple priorities or problems part by part whether in sequence or not.

This competitive world and aspiration to succeed and create value has been pushing everyone to do things FAST, FASTER, SUPER FAST, LIGHTENING FAST, ULTRA FAST….and I don’t know how many more terms would be coined like these. But we all must introspect, if it comes with a compromise somewhere? If it does, then what is the COST of COMPROMISE? Then take a decision and move on to have made a choice towards SUSTAINABLE Solution to the problem.

How do we do it?

  1. Know what all priorities we have at hand and what outcome we are expecting?

  2. Do we have something similar ready so that we don’t rework on solution, rather reuse.

  3. Solution must be focusing end user to ensure greater acceptance and sustainability.

  4. Do the PILOT and play Devil’s advocate to know shortcomings and immediate resolutions.

  5. Awareness, Communication is they key before final launch of solution or product.

  6. Show the value. In today’s data driven world let the data speak for itself.

  7. SENSITIZE everyone associated with the need of Right Intent, Right Attitude (RIRA Culture) to get Right outcome

  8. Keep monitoring for course correction. Be courageous to acknowledge, improve or step back to take a larger leap based on your experience

I AGREE that we are in an evolving world and we must keep on IMPROVISING. If we don’t, we are out of business. We must keep up pace with the new skill world and keep on technologically advancing. But at the same time, we must hunt for the effective and sustainable, scalable, improvable possibilities and invest time and money in that to see the lasting results. It is a RACE, but marathon (long term focus) not a sprint (Short Term focus).

I hope you will connect with this and understand the need of Sensitization rather than Sanitization

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