A Lesson Learned About Preconceptions...Thanks to Google Maps
Recently I checked Google Maps to determine the fastest route home because I had heard that there was an accident causing delays along my normal route. Google Maps was very helpful to show me an alternate route that would save me 15 minutes. However, once I arrived at home it was clear that the alternate route was about 7 minutes faster than my normal route even without the accident delay.
Initially I thought it was a fluke of some kind. Intuitively the alternate route just seemed like it would have to take more time than my normal route. So, I decided to take that alternate route the next few times. No matter what time of day I was driving, each time it was at least 5 minutes faster.
The initial surprise of this discovery was followed by a moment of gladness that I had found a way to capture more time, then followed by a realization that I had wasted a good bit of time over the preceding 24 months.
Since then I've tried to challenge myself in other situations where I follow conventional or preconceived thinking or methods. It really is amazing how often we do things a certain way just because it's the way we've always done them. And, if your business processes, systems, etc. are the same as they were even 3 years ago there's a good chance that there is a better, faster and highly cost-effective solution close by.