Talk to those who do the work – finding sources of continuous improvement

 

Lads, I've just got a great idea!

So you’ve cut the costs to the bone. You’re working with half the numbers you worked with three years ago. Your team is feeling demotivated and you’ve run out of ideas. Are you stuck? Not at all. Like Michael Caine in The Italian Job, it’s a case of: “Just a minute, Lads. I’ve got a great idea!”

Talk to the people who are closest to the challenge. Recently I’ve been working with a number of organisations where we are taking some of the best ideas from GE on creating a cycle of continuous improvement. Called Work-Out, the idea is so simple you will wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. 

5 Steps to Work Out

  • Bring together the people who are closest to the challenge or issue you want to resolve. This very probably means a number of people from different parts of the organisation as normally problems affect different parts of the organisation.
  • Create a clear problem statement or challenge, such as “How can we cut turnaround time on customer orders from 8 hours to 6 hours?” A work out theme should be focused, clear and measurable.
  • Take two or three hours to look for ideas that the team themselves can put in place. As the champion of the work out session, your job is to support the team not to take their ideas and bring them back to the management team.
  • Set a timeline for implementing the ideas that have come out of the workshop.
  • Review and change your systems to include the new, tried and tested ideas!

You don’t only get good ideas. With this simple programme, you also re-energise and re-engage your team.

To find out more about how to implement a continuous improvement programme in your company contact us for a chat.