Day 4 of TEPAP was kind of like sitting on a launch pad at NASA and then suddenly going from zero to 500 mph instantly. Jeff McGee is high energy and talks at a pace that packs 8 hours of material into 3 or 4.
The Trajectory Code
He walked us through several models about implementing change, but the one that really sticks in my mind is what he calls the trajectory code. You can listen to him in this quick interview by clicking on the link below.
The trajectory code model states we are always either moving towards success or something less than success from some starting point. In the diagram seen above, that means we want to move towards point C. Here is the simple concept he stressed which is so true. It is easier to make a 1% adjustment earlier on than having to make a bigger adjustments later.
Last spring, I had a real world example of this during planting season. I had pulled into a field after dark to plant and pulled up my GPS line to plant along a neighbors field with no fence. The neighbor is friendly so we often work land over the line to keep the weeds down. At night, I can’t tell where the fenceline is until I get to the other end. Before starting out, I accidentally pulled up a line from another field that was just a fraction of a degree off from my RTK line. By the time I got about ½ way across the field I knew I was off a couple of rows onto his side of the line. If I had caught that early, it would have been a few inch adjustment instead of a few feet. Whether It is GPS or managing our own lives, this principle holds true.
This talk tied in directly with Day 3 and Mike Scott’s talk on accountability and later on in the week with other speakers. Throughout several of the presentations the theme of little adjustments early on in your management were stressed. That included hiring, firing, failing fast, and preparation for everything you do. Often we ignore the little things and then don’t have the courage to fix things when they are bigger problems.
If I could sum up this principle in my own words it would this.
“Micro decisions accumulate to create macro results”
Resources: Book – Your Trajectory Code