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Invest in Improvement

I have been reading “The Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhou over the past few weeks. In chapter 5, titled “Managing Yourself,” she emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of formal training opportunities.

Zhou points out that even if a 10-hour training experience results in only a 1% overall improvement, the net benefit is still significant. Over the course of a year, a 1% improvement in work output or efficiency translates to roughly 20 saved hours.

As the lead of a team focused on design systems and operations, I am always seeking ways to improve the efficiency of my team and the teams we serve. It is easy to view a 10-hour training opportunity as a huge time commitment and question its value. However, we should redefine the worth of such opportunities based on their potential value.

For example, a full-day workshop with nine attendees may seem expensive from a cost and trade-off perspective, requiring roughly 80 work-hours. But what is the potential outcome of the workshop? If it results in the team coming into alignment or finding a clearer path to success, then it is worth the investment. Even a small 1% increase in efficiency makes up for the time spent. That one-time 80-hour investment could result in an efficiency improvement of 160 hours a year.

Investing in yourself and your teams may seem costly in the short term, but over time, the benefits will become clear.

Adam Sedwick

I work on Design systems and Advocate for Accessibility on the web.



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