20/20 vision

Welcome to “Turning on a dime“, what does this mean? And if you want it for your organization, what is the “best” way to get there? This post defines the starting point for this continuous improvement journey.

The site Wordreference.com defines “Turn on a dime” as:

… an expression you hear when referring to high performance cars, airplanes, boats, etc. Since a dime is the smallest U.S. coin, the ability to “turn on it” is a figure of speech meaning you can change direction very quickly in a very small space.

Continuous course correction whenever you need it

change on a tap (a la Beer on a tap)

— my definitions

In addition, word reference expands this to say it originated from the British phrase “turn on a sixpence” if you came from the other side of the pond.

… the expression “turn on a sixpence” came into being, meaning that whatever it is can turn in a very small space. For example, if I said that my car can turn on a sixpence I mean that it has a very tight turning circle

So how do you get this kind of performance? And, do you magically get there? The answer is fairly simple and it is in the headline of the article “20/20”. Try to have a perfect vision. Or to extend that concept have a perfection vision, an anal focus on quality of ideas, thinking, execution and validation. Perfect vision is often impossible and might be just a want, a purpose to align your people to. You can wish it, but might never have it. But you can have a goal of a “Perfection Vision” – continuously fixing your vision of getting to be perfect.

20/20 eyesight and vision

In a personal metaphorical sense, this could be by fixing your vision through changing lenses often, corrective laser surgery, trying various medicines, getting new eyes (from dead people of course). For organizations, this means you are:

  • always going to strive for perfection
  • look for the perfect ideas,
  • the perfect validation of these ideas
  • strive to build perfect products, with a goal of every increasing quality
  • perfect addition of features to these products/services that provide the highest level of customer experience
  • in the perfect amount of (short time)

So there is your “one” best answer secret-sauce to “turn on a dime”

Of course we are in 2020 and it is a great time to start on your “perfection vision journey”. Explore along with this blog…

Photo credit: Srikanth Ramanujam, signage from an optical shop in our neighbourhood (20/20 Eyecare). Thanks their sign to trigger this article!


I shamelessly borrow the name of the blog from Craig Larman for his definition of agility as “turn on a dime, for a dime” – though I don’t personally believe systems thinking or Lean alone are enough answer to that and would love to extend these concept through other lenses and my own style – especially through an anthrocomplexity lens (Dave Snowden) or through a Viral change lens (Leandro Herrero) or other lenses and perspectives as well.






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