If we are to improve, we must define exceptions. What are our standards? What is abnormal around here? Defining exceptions can help us better prioritize our focus, communicate our culture, and track our results. The nuance – and often confusion – comes into play when leaders over-prescribe definitions or enable inconsistent definitions across the organization. It’s like the team I worked with this month that is accustomed to losing money a certain way, and therefore finds it completely acceptable, but devotes an inordinate amount of time scrutinizing losses in other areas. Why? Because the other areas are defined exceptions. All the more reason to define appropriately.