Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #8

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #106 - Question how often to have a meeting?
How often to have a meeting?  Consider these:

•Don't just meet to meet.  Meeting should be Action Driven.
•Needs to be tied to work needs and deadlines.
•Set with frequency to ensure attendance by team members.
•Do not have a meeting when work needs to accomplished alone.
•Meetings should be used when the work needing to be done can not be effectively or efficiently accomplished otherwise.
•Count the cost (salary, benefits).

Lean Tip #107 - The 4 P's of planning a meeting agenda.
The 4 P's of planning an agenda for a meeting:

•What is the PRIORITY of the meeting?
•What is the PURPOSE of the meeting?
•Which PEOPLE should attend?
•How should everyone PREPARE?

Lean Tip #108 - Use the "100 Mile Rule" as a guideline for meeting interruptions.
Don't interrupt the meeting unless the interruption would have occurred even if the meeting was 100 miles away.  Let the team work together to solve problems and make improvement.  Interruptions effect teamwork on any activity since you don't have the full attention of the team members.

Lean Tip #109 - Team members have a role in meetings too.
If you are a team member at a meeting consider these tips to be fully participative:

•Come prepared.
•Listen and concentrate.
•Actively participate.
•Be flexible.
•Leave your ego outside.
•Don't shut down others; stay open.

Lean Tip #110 - There is a good reason to use a process map when ...
There is a good reason to use a process map:

•To identify measurement points in a process
•To identify potential process improvements
•To zero in on the origin of a problem
•To communicate procedures, process flow
•To identify critical interfaces (between Customers and Suppliers)

Lean Tip #111 - Goal setting should not be taken lightly because your journey to success depends on it.
Goal setting is a process whereby you decide what you want to achieve and set up a plan to do it.  The very first step of goal setting is to, first, determine what you want at the end of the journey. That is your ultimate destination.  Some people say that goal setting is just a matter of sitting down and deciding what to do.  If you fully intend to achieve your goals, you should perceive goal setting as an extremely powerful process of personal planning.

Lean Tip #112 - Don't set a lot of goals at the same time.
You should start with one goal and stay focused on this goal at least for 30 days. If after 30 days you feel you're doing well and getting closer to the desired outcome you can start with the second goal.

The simple rule is: Don't set a lot of goals at the same time. You won't achieve any. The key to goal setting is staying focused. And it is impossible to focus at many goals at the same time.  Start with the most important one.

Lean Tip #113 - If you don't believe you can reach your goal you won't.
If there is any doubt in your mind that you can achieve something, you don't give it your all. In fact, you may very well just set it aside. In order to fully achieve anything, you must believe it is possible at a cellular level.

If you believe that you can be successful, that you'll enjoy being successful, then you will be successful.

Lean Tip #114 - Set a deadline for your goal.
Set a realistic date when you plan to accomplish your goal. Don't commit to "as soon as possible"! If you don't have a specific deadline for your goal, you won't have a sense of urgency and you'll start to put things off. What's the hurry, if you don't have a deadline?

Remember that the deadline must be realistic. We all tend to underestimate time it will take us to accomplish tasks. Keep in mind that unplanned obstacles may occur and slow you down.

Lean Tip #115 - Write down you goals, you've probably heard this but it is important.
You've probably heard hundreds of times that it is crucial to write your goal down. But do you know why this step is so important?

When you put pen to paper you turn your thoughts into something tangible. Your goal is no longer just a thought! It becomes something, what motivates us and creates a gut feeling inside.

Writing your goals down is the first step to make the goals more real. Somehow having things in writing really makes them seem more important to most people.

Lean Tip #116 - Leadership is a mix of skills, attitude, will, and motivation.
A leader:

•Makes things happen.
•Is mentor and coach.
•Is respected and followed.
•Has a clear purpose.
•Single-mindedly pursues common goals, regardless of obstacles or temporary setbacks.
•Leads people to accomplish what they thought was impossible.

Lean Tip #117 - A leader overcomes resistance to change.
A leader makes change happen through:

•Leading change
•Making every situation into a learning experience.

Lean Tip #118 - A leader wants other to improve, and guides rather than controls them along that path.
Leaders trust people and know that trust creates more trust and loyalty.

A Leader:

•Builds positive relationships.
•Is frank and critical, but not threatening.
•Is a keen observer.
•Knows how to ask questions and evaluate answers.
•Develops people's potential, instead of judging their performance.

Lean Tip #119 - Creating a motivating environment is among the most important functions of a leader.
Only leaders can set the strongest motivators in motion amongst these three:

 Belonging: being a member of the team.

Achieving: reaching common goals - the more difficult, the greater the satisfaction.

Recognition: praise, promotion, rewards.

Lean Tip #120 - Leaders communicate and lead the change.
Leaders give support, discuss goals, and inspire.  Leaders:

•Are not embarrassed to ask for advice.
•Eliminate the "we-they" barrier between functions and groups.
•Are self-confident and do not need a "common enemy" to achieve unity.
•Encourage creativity and innovation.
•Accept mistakes as opportunities to learn.
•Get things done with or without direct authority.

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