Powerful Effects of Applying "Atomic Habits" to Metrology

Applying Atomic Habits to Metrology

How can we apply what we learn in books to Metrological Practices?  Many might be familiar with the rule of 72.  In investments, the "rule of 72" is a simplified way to calculate how long an investment may take to double.  The math is as simple as dividing 72 by the annual rate of return you receive, and that number provides a rough estimate of how many years it takes to double your investment.  However, this rule can be applied to several other things as well.

One of those is continuous improvement.  As defined by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, continuous improvement is a dedication to making small changes and improvements every day, with the expectation that those minor improvements will add up to something significant.

Why might this be important?  Our companies set big goals; we set lofty goals, goals we want to achieve, yet we rarely achieve them. Why?  Mr. Clear thinks setting larger goals often results in burnout, frustration, and failure.  He may be correct in this thinking. Thinking is getting one percent better is not going to make headlines; however, Atomic Habits examines the approach of continuous improvement by slowly and slightly adjusting our regular everyday habits and behaviors.

What if our people could improve at a rate of 1 % daily? In 365 days, they would be 37.78 times better.  In reality, 1 % better is not going to amount to much.  You can decide to skip the burger and eat a salad on day 1, though will that make you look in peak physical shape?  Now, however, what happens if you continually decide to eat a salad, take a walk, exercise, and slowly alter your habits to those of the people in peak physical shape?  You may become one of those people.

Think about it this way: if one ran a calibration laboratory with small incremental goals to get 1 % better per week, your lab would be twice as good in seventy-two weeks.  These small habits could relate to anything from being better at responding to customers to creating a positive customer experience. It could be reading content on your calibration discipline and learning as much as possible about it and learning the techniques to improve your ability and understanding of the discipline.

Can you imagine an employee who tries to be slightly better each day by learning more about their job and ways to improve it?   If the employee focused on becoming 1 % better for what may amount to 225 working days, they would improve 1.01 ^225 or 9.38 times better than when they started.  Would you want to keep that kind of employee?

Applying Atomic Habits to Metrology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applying Atomic Habits to Metrology & Your Business

How about as a business, can you change your habits just slightly enough that real change starts to happen? Can you invest in people and the equipment necessary for them to do their jobs? Can you encourage training? Can you abandon goals and focus on improving your company and your culture? Mr. Clear has a great quote about goals: "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."

As I read Atomic Habits and the many good examples Mr. Clear provided, I started to think about our culture, company, and how we all seek to better ourselves; how great can we become an organization?  How can we employ this type of incremental change?  How do we begin to change?  Mr. Clear identifies three layers of behavior change, which are as follows:

1) a change in your outcomes (what you get & what you want to achieve)

2) a change in your processes (What you do)

3) a change in your identity (What you believe & what you wish to become)

The simplest way to accomplish this is to focus on what you want to become. Mr. Clear writes, "Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the person you wish to become." If you are a force calibration technician, maybe you want to become the best lab manager.

What are the characteristics and behaviors of the best lab manager?  Is that someone with a grasp on people management, knowledge of all the force calibration standards, and customer interactions with positive experiences?  You need your management to discuss what is needed to become that person.  Remember, this is not an overnight transition. It is about editing your beliefs, upgrading, and expanding your identity.

Applying Atomic Habits to Metrology: Building Culture

The book Atomic Habits by James Clear goes on with guidelines and steps to building better habits. There are discussions on how being in the right environment matters, the secret to self-control, and how to make that habit irresistible.   Some discussions relate to management in setting the right culture, which comes with this great quote: "One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.".

Many of us as metrologists have our community of peers. What if we all believe in being better and promoting good metrology because it leads to a safer world?  What if, as companies, we decided to do the right things to mitigate risk instead of chasing profit?  What if our common ground worked together for sound solutions, such as agreeing on definitions and forwarding measurement practices instead of passing the risk to the consumer?  If all our companies were run like this, would our people be more inclined to invest in themselves?

What if we do not do the right things?  We opened by discussing the 1 % rule in the context of getting better. This rule also works if your people are disengaged and worsen daily.  I implore you to pick up a copy of Atomic Habits and start your organization's transformation. The worst case is there are some small takeaways to make you or your business better.

-Henry Zumbrun, Morehouse Instrument Company

About Morehouse Instrument Company

Companies worldwide rely on Morehouse for accuracy and speed. The company turns around equipment in 7-10 business days so customers can return to work quickly and save money.

Morehouse Instrument Company, a trusted and accredited provider of force and torque measurement services for over 100 years, offers measurement uncertainties 10-50 times lower than the competition.

Morehouse helps commercial labs, government labs, and other organizations lower their measurement risk by lowering equipment uncertainties for torque and force measurement. Contact Morehouse at info@mhforce.com or www.mhforce.com

More Information about Morehouse

We believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration in everything we do.

This includes setting expectations on load cell reliability and challenging the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters and what causes significant errors.

We focus on reducing these errors and making our products simple and user-friendly.

This means your instruments will pass calibration more often and produce more precise measurements, giving you the confidence to focus on your business.

Companies around the globe rely on Morehouse for accuracy and speed.

Our measurement uncertainties are 10-50 times lower than the competition.

We turn around your equipment in 7-10 business days so you can return to work quickly, saving you money.

When you choose Morehouse, you're not just paying for a calibration service or a load cell.

You're investing in peace of mind, knowing your equipment is calibrated accurately and on time.

Contact Morehouse at info@mhforce.com to learn more about our calibration services and load cell products.

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