Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily Lean Tip Edition #63 (946-960)

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 #946 – Lean Leaders Get the Facts
Lean leaders collect all the facts about the problem because they know that some problems are not as big as they seem. Fact-finding is an analytical, rather than an emotional task, so it is useful in other ways, too. When a follower comes to a leader with a problem, a good Lean leader will start asking questions and gather the facts, rather than engage in an emotional discussion.  Fact-finding is a process and you may have to dig deep to get to the real problem. Lean leaders are great at asking the right fact-finding questions. They’re also adept at listening to the answers and “hearing” any sub-text that could illuminate the situation.

Lean Tip #947 – Lean Leaders Don’t Just Know How to Solve Problems; They Know How to Find Them.
Great Lean leaders can detect smoke, rather than simply trying to fight raging fires. That’s the type of leader you should groom your employees to be. And it’s critical they have a good rapport with their team to encourage them to share bad news, red flags, or concerns with them quickly!

Lean Tip #948 – Lean Leaders Follow Through
Effective leaders don’t just implement the solution and turn away. They follow through with making sure necessary team members are also doing their part (if required). And they ask everyone involved how they think the “solution” is working out now that it’s actually being used.

Lean Tip #949 – Lean Leaders Research Knowledge For Answers
Leaders consider what research would be valuable to their problem-solving efforts (like searching the Internet, asking other people, reading books, etc.). Leaders do not think of themselves as all-knowing and understand that the first instinct for an answer is not necessarily the best. Sometimes when you are too knowledgeable about a subject, you can overlook something obvious.

Lean Tip #950 – Lean Leaders Focus on People and Vision Not Just Results
Managers who choose not to embody important leadership qualities suffer – as do their employees and their companies as a whole. Shortsighted managers tend to focus only results of processes and procedures, not people and vision, whereas leaders focus on the latter first.

Lean Tip #951 - Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem
You cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem. This is because when you focus on the problem you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity’. These emotions block potential solutions. I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem’ – instead try. It helps to first acknowledge the problem and then move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be instead of lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

Lean Tip #952 - Have an Open Mind
Try and entertain ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions. ‘No idea is a bad idea’. Whatever you do – do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

Lean Tip #953 - Try Simplifying Your Problem
As human beings we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it. Remove all the detail and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

Lean Tip #954 - Keep Calm and Solve On
When faced with a significant problem, it is important not to panic or rush into making quick decisions. Take some time to think about the problem and the options that are available to you. To do this, you might find it helpful to put your initial thoughts down on paper or chat through your thinking with a colleague.

Lean Tip #955 - Reflect and Evaluate After Problem Solving
Once your problem is finally solved, take some time to reflect on which aspects of your approach worked, and what you would do differently next time. You may be able to apply some of these approaches the next time a problem arises.

Lean Tip #956 - Create an Atmosphere of Trust.
Building a team is mostly predicated on trust. One of the best ways to instill trust in your team is to be open, honest and transparent. You need to show your team that you are confident. That way, your team will work harder for future goals.

Lean Tip #957 - Make Good on Your Promises.
If you keep breaking promises to your employees, there is a good chance that they will lose confidence in you and the business. So, you don’t want to keep making lofty promises that never come to fruition. When you make promises, you want to make good on them, so only make promises that you can keep – it is as simple as that.

Lean Tip #958 - Stimulate Your Employees’ Strengths.
Your team is multifaceted – mainly because the individual members have vastly different personalities and strengths. So, if you want to increase teamwork success, you want to make sure that you encourage individualism for the sake of motivation. The more motivated a team member feels, the more efficient and productive the hive will be.

Lean Tip #959 - Alleviate Conflicts Among Team Members.
Inner conflicts among team members can only be a hindrance to success. So, anytime conflict arises, you want to make sure that you take remediation efforts to quell it. However, it is also important to look at conflicts as an opportunity for your team members to learn from each other and from the conflict. The more tools your team members have to resolve conflicts, the stronger your team will be.

Lean Tip #960 - Bring Your Team Members in on the Hiring Process.

If you want continued success for your business, you may want to think of making the hiring process an inclusive and democratic process. When trying to build the most talented core team, your other employees may have incredibly wise words of wisdom when it comes to hiring someone new.


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