Your breakthrough day

02 May
May 2, 2013

Monday 26th November 2012 was a special and momentous day for New York.  On Monday 26th November, for the first time in living memory, an entire day passed without a single report of anyone being shot, stabbed or subjected to a violent crime.  Monday 26th November 2012 was New York’s breakthrough day.


New York police officers could hardly remember the last time that such a violent-crime-free day last occurred.  Over the years New York has seen a drop in violent crime but this was certainly a very special day indeed.

New York has achieved its breakthrough day following a series of targeted initiatives and exceptionally hard work.  Interestingly enough the NYPD now employs fewer police officers than in the past.

This breakthrough day came because New York had a clear goal of reducing crime and worked tirelessly to achieve that goal.  It would seem that New York is at last reaping the rewards of its efforts.

The violent-crime-free day will not last – everyone in New York knows that.  But it’s a start –  and as Joey “The Lips” Fagan said in Alan Parker’s film The Commitments: “It was a start; I believe in starts.  Once you have the start, the rest is inevitable.”

Business context

But what about your business?  What breakthrough day are you working towards?  Perhaps it’s:

  • Zero customer complaints
  • Zero rework
  • Zero accidents
  • Achieving a set percentage ROI on a learning event
  • Getting your departmental strategy completed on time – miracles can happen
  • Achieving your recruitment targets – for once
  • Reducing staff turnover
  • Increasing employee engagement beyond the high performer benchmark

Breakthrough days don’t just happen though.  They take relentless focus and an unswerving dedication.  They are the result of careful planning, precise resource allocation and a total commitment – no matter what the business may throw at you.

Although the Germans are recognised word wide for excellence in engineering, July 27 1994 was a breakthrough day for Porsche.  Despite what you may think about the brand now, this date represents the first Porsche Carrera to come off the production line without any defects!  The efforts that Porsche put into flawless delivery were considerable, as were the benefits which they keep enjoying day after day.

Breakthrough days can and do happen.  In some businesses six sigma has been achieved when once they never thought it possible.  In others, safety standards have been increased beyond all recognition and in others again levels of customer satisfaction have been pulled from the depths to new and often amazing heights.


Any business can reach their breakthrough day – if they choose to do so.  It takes immense time and focus and dedication – but it can happen.  Keep the faith and your breakthrough day could be next!

Call to action

Make sure you know what your ideal breakthrough day looks like and work tirelessly to achieve it.

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