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It Starts With BELIEVE - Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 11, 2023 10:34:03 AM

At KaiNexus, many of us are excited that Season 3 of the show "Ted Lasso" is here.

I love this graphic that our team created, based on our lightbulb mascot -- "Ofie." It's Ted Lassofie, if you will.

Ted Lassofie-1

The image, and the show, made me think about what leaders must do to create a culture of continuous improvement. 

First, you have to BELIEVE that your employees have great ideas. Guess what? They do.

Instead of thinking that you have to "motivate" or incentivize them, more often you have to just get out of the way and unleash their potential. Create a team with a common mission, like Coach Ted Lasso. Your team already has the drive to win; otherwise, they wouldn't be in the game. 

If they're not speaking up, is it because of fear or futility? Great leaders create conditions where people feel safer speaking up about problems and improvement ideas. They also ensure that people have the time and resources to turn ideas into actions and results — reducing the futility factor and making it worth people's while to speak up.

At KaiNexus, our mission is to spread continuous improvement. And everybody can participate in improvement, whether you're a Ted, a Roy, a Rebecca, a Keeley, a Higgins, or a Beard.

Coach Ted Lasso

Everybody has a role to play. Sometimes the boss needs to be a cheerleader and confidence booster, like Ted. Sometimes, the leader has to acknowledge that change is hard. "But most of the time, it's a good thing." Ted tries his best to connect with his team, even if his communication style and stories don't always connect. It's OK to be imperfect -- what matters is caring and trying.


"We're gonna do more than survive, we're gonna thrive."

Ted says, "You can either be a gold miner or a gold maker." This quote highlights the importance of taking a proactive approach to improvement and not waiting for success to come to you.

And, "There's a reason why the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror." This quote emphasizes the importance of looking forward and not dwelling on past mistakes.

AFC Richmond Team Owner Rebecca Welton

An owner, like Rebecca Welton, might need to set the direction and goals ("Beat Rupert, Ted") without telling the team exactly how to do it. It's OK for a leader to challenge her team, to light a fire under them.



She chews him out for taking the team on a "field trip" to a sewer. She's upset because the team is projected to finish in last place. Rebecca says, in the video:

"Everybody is laughing at us. And I am begging you, Ted -- fight back."

As Rebecca says elsewhere:

"Winning is contagious. You get a taste of it, and you want more."

Roy Kent, Former Player and Assistant Coach

A coach might need to be frustrated with the current level of performance (but watch your language, you Roy Kents out there) while, more importantly, having the dedication to help others train and improve (even if that means doing so at 4 am., Jamie Tartt).

Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 6.55.43 AM

Roy Kent is a former captain of the AFC Richmond team and is known for his tough and gruff exterior. Here are some quotes from Roy about working hard and training:

  1. "You don't win games with talent alone. You gotta put in the hard work." This quote highlights the importance of hard work and dedication in achieving success, rather than relying solely on natural talent.

  2. "Training is where you earn your medals." This quote emphasizes the importance of putting in the effort during training in order to perform well during games.

  3. "If you're not willing to work for it, you don't deserve it." This quote reflects Roy's no-nonsense attitude toward success, believing that it must be earned through hard work and dedication.

  4. "There's no shortcut to greatness." This quote highlights the fact that achieving greatness requires consistent effort and a willingness to put in the work.

  5. "If you're not willing to sweat, bleed, and cry for it, you're not going to achieve it." This quote shows that Roy believes that achieving success requires sacrifice and perseverance, even in the face of adversity.

Assistant Coach Beard (First Name Currently Unknown)

Sometimes, you need an eagerly learning tactician helping you out, like Coach Beard.

Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 6.57.49 AM

Coach Beard is an assistant coach, and he is known for his analytical and strategic approach to the game. Here are some quotes from Coach Beard about tactics and strategy:

  1. "Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." This quote highlights the importance of having a clear strategy in place before implementing tactical decisions.

  2. "If you don't know your game plan, how are you going to know when you've won?" This quote emphasizes the importance of having a clear plan in place in order to achieve success.

  3. "The devil is in the details." This quote shows Coach Beard's attention to detail and his belief that success is achieved through careful planning and execution.

  4. "Winning is 90% tactics and 10% luck." This quote reflects Coach Beard's belief that success is achieved through a combination of strategic planning and a bit of luck.

  5. "You can't just throw out tactics like confetti and hope they stick." This quote emphasizes the importance of carefully considering tactical decisions and their potential impact on the game.

Overall, Coach Beard's quotes about tactics and strategy in "Ted Lasso" demonstrate his belief in the importance of careful planning and attention to detail in achieving success. He is a character who values strategic thinking and is always looking for ways to improve his team's performance through thoughtful analysis and planning.

Keely Jones, P.R. Agent and Firm Owner

When improvements are making a difference, you need a Keeley Jones and her P.R. firm to share the story within the company (or to customers and the outside world).

keeley jones

  1. "Promotion is everything." This quote reflects Keeley's belief that success and recognition are achieved through promotion and self-promotion.

  2. "You can't just sit around waiting for things to happen. You have to make them happen." This quote shows Keeley's proactive approach to achieving success and promoting herself and her clients.

  3. "The key to success is knowing your audience and giving them what they want." This quote reflects Keeley's understanding of the importance of tailoring your message to your target audience in order to achieve success.

  4. "If you want something, you have to go out there and get it." This quote emphasizes the importance of taking initiative and being proactive in order to achieve success.

  5. "Success is a ladder. You have to climb it one rung at a time." This quote shows Keeley's belief that success is achieved through consistent effort and persistence.

Overall, Keeley's quotes about promotion in "Ted Lasso" demonstrate her understanding of the importance of self-promotion and her belief that success is achieved through proactive effort and persistence. She is a character who values hard work and determination and is always looking for ways to achieve success for herself and her clients.

Leslie Higgins, Director of Football Operations 

And Higgins... I guess Higgins is the administrator who helps track your improvements. And I bet he'd love the KaiNexus platform (for his Mac or his iPhone), whatever temporary office or desk he's being forced to use.


  1. "Organization is the key to success." This quote highlights Higgins' belief that being organized is crucial for achieving success.

  2. "A place for everything, and everything in its place." This quote reflects Higgins' attention to detail and his belief in the importance of order and organization.

  3. "Being organized means being in control." This quote shows Higgins' belief that being organized helps you stay in control of your work and your life.

  4. "The key to staying organized is to stay ahead of the game." This quote emphasizes the importance of planning and staying ahead in order to stay organized and avoid chaos.

  5. "A well-organized person is a well-prepared person." This quote highlights the relationship between organization and preparation, showing that being organized helps you prepare for whatever challenges come your way.

What About Your Team?

Does your organization have an improvement dream team? Do you run the risk of being relegated? Do you have a chance at reaching the top of the league tables in your industry? 

How does Ted Lasso inspire you to BELIEVE in continuous improvement and your entire team?

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