As many of you know, I’m in the process of training in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. These are each INCREDIBLE tools for revolutionizing the efficiency of any process-driven system.

Not only am I going to be applying what I’ve learned to my personal business, but I’ll be working to implement these strategies in the clinical setting, through my work as a surgeon resident.

During a recent training session, I came across an exercise that many of you may have already seen, but if not, I’m including a quick summary below. Feel free to use a calculator for the math part – no need to be a hero here with arithmetic!

Are your decisions as free as you think? 

Unstable Man

Here’s the gist:

  1. Pick a number from 3 to 9
  2. Multiply that number by 9
  3. Add 12 to the result (hint: if you don’t have a two-digit number here, double-check your math)
  4. Add the resulting two digits together
  5. Divide by 3 (hint: you should get a 1-digit number; again, double-check your math if you don’t)
  6. Convert your number to a letter, using alphabetic order: 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = E, etc.
  7. Pick a country (i.e., not a state or city) that begins with your letter.
  8. Now, move up to the next letter in the alphabet.
  9. Pick a mammal (i.e. not a bird, insect or fish) that begins with this letter.
  10. Write down that animal’s color.

Let me guess – did you choose a Gray Elephant from Denmark?

Your system dictates your results: as much as 90% of the time

Direction Intersection Decision Option Chance Concept

Here’s what this means – and why it matters for your online business. From the moment a potential customer lands on your website, they are presented with an ongoing variety of options: which image should they look at? What link should they click? Which page should they start on?

Your job is to decide where you want them to land, and how to help guide them there. Do you have a product you’re hoping to sell? If so, you should design your site to facilitate them reaching your landing page – not clicking a link to an external site and never coming back.

Keep asking yourself the following question: am I making it easy for my visitors to do what I want, and difficult to do something else?

Constantly evaluate your site, using A/B testing (sometimes called “split testing”) via Google Analytics, or whatever other software you choose. Make an adjustment, see what happens, and then go from there. There are countless ways that your site’s design influences what your visitors do – from button colors and shapes, to font and images.

It’s up to you. How will your visitors be guided through your site?

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