Continuous improvement is a popular phrase but often leaves leadership struggling. Leadership does not have all the answers, particularly for the day-to-day issues of the staff. How can we engage the staff in making things better that will also drive the company's P&L? It is conceptually easy but difficult in a practical sense.
Leadership knows how to read the numbers and understands how the company's outward performance stands. Many top leaders do not understand how the company actually makes that happen. They don't see the day-to-day processes that their people struggle to use. They may not even think of their business as a sequence of processes. However, that is what the staff experience every day. The staff deal with their link in the chain that delivers your product or service to customers and may not see the whole value stream.
Leveraging the strength and vision of the leadership with the common sense and day-to-day practicality of the staff is the key to successful continuous improvement.
- Use business process measures to identify areas of opportunity
- Engage the staff in understanding what works and what doesn't in that area
- Develop new systems and tools that make it easier to do the right thing quickly
- Learn from each effort
- Keep on keeping on...
Check out this article on best practices.