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Monday, June 16, 2014

Daily Lean Tips Edition #64 (961-975)

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 #961 - Processes are Really Just Ideas
Most change efforts require changes to organizational processes, and we have some great tools for representing processes. The tools are too good, though — we sometimes forget that processes have no physical manifestation. Processes are just ideas, and ideas exist only in our minds. So if a process is to change, what is in people's minds must change — their ideas about the processes, and how they, as people, relate to the processes and to each other.

Lean Tip #962 - People Change for Something Better Rather than to Avoid Something Worse
Threats are fine for determining behavior, but they just don't create real change. Here are two approaches that don't work: "You had better do this, or it's your job." "If we can't figure out how to do this, we'll be out of business." Instead, realize that lasting change comes from within — from the heart, from the spirit. To create lasting organizational change, you must develop a vision of a better work life — a vision that people can really believe in.

Lean Tip #963 - People Don't Forget What They Already Know
Although we know quite a lot about how to show people new ways, very little is known about how to make people forget old ways. The old ways will stay with the organization, no matter how tightly you try to constrain — or coerce — people to follow new paths. This means that after you've educated everyone about the new ways of doing things, the old patterns are still there. And people are always free to fall back on the old ways. The only way to limit this behavior is to make the new ways so appealing and fun that people will choose them over the old ways.

Lean Tip #964 – Fight Against Complacency.
Have you heard the saying that “the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference?” Employee development suggests that at certain phases of an employee’s work life, there can come a time when unresolved issues and hurts render an employee “indifferent.” Surface any dashed expectations or old problems, and focus employees on new goals and renewed commitment to their jobs and the future.

Lean Tip #965 - Expect Change To Take Longer Than You Expect
Recognize that in your own mind, you've already made the change. You've thought it through, and you know where you want things to go. But nobody else has — well, hardly anybody. Getting everyone to move to where they will want to go will take time. And we always underestimate how long it takes. Always.

Lean Tip #966 - Learn Something Each and Every Day
The best lesson I was ever taught by a mentor – was to strive to take learning from every experience in a day and to recount it at the end of the day.   This orientation around learning and looking for learning has made a tremendous difference in my life – and I know it will in yours as well.  It’s leveraging this knowledge that will move you forward on your personal leadership development plan as fast as anything else.

Lean Tip #967 - Maximize Your Team’s Talents With Four Steps
Follow these points to build high performance teams: 1) Establish a common vision 2) Emphasize the importance of team trust 3) Ensure your team has the collective capacity to get the job done by maximizing individual potential 4) Keep meetings and operations running smoothly and efficiently.

Lean Tip #968 - When Possible, Encourage Variety
Employees who are appointed to different roles tend to be more productive. Of course, this is a trick on floors that rely on an acute specialization of labor, but to the extent that you can, switch up job assignments from time to time. When workers see their vocation as an endless treadmill, their efficiency suffers.

Lean Tip # 969 – Leaders Must Guide, Motivate, and Inspire.
Guide your team in the direction you want the group to go by setting a vision, strategy, and goals. Motivate them to bring their best by expressing your passion, communicating with confidence and optimism, and connecting tasks to a greater purpose.  Your work doesn’t stop there; inspire them to act by continuously engaging their talents, re-recruiting their spirit, and celebrating successes.

Lean Tip #970 – Foster Innovation by Encouraging Creativity
Foster innovation by challenging assumptions about what can and cannot be done. React to mistakes and failures in a way that shows that you condone risk-taking. Give your support, provide resources, and remove barriers to change. Approach problems as learning opportunities. Think twice when people agree with you; show you value independent thinking and reward people who challenge you.

Lean Tip #971 - Know Your People Personally
Personal interaction is important. The impact of a simple “hello” in the hallway or conversation in the lobby goes a long way into getting employees to feel important and want to be part of the vision a leader has created for the company.  You have the ability to impact each of your team on a personal level. When was the last time you took the time to listen to your team and get to know them as individuals?

Lean Tip #972 - Set a Company Standard
Lean leaders model a company standard they expect everyone to follow. They clearly communicate their vision, expectations, and how this standard is to be carried out throughout the organization. What is your company standard? What standard are you setting by example?

Lean Tip #973 - Collaboration Across Departmental and Hierarchical Boundaries Collaboration across departmental and hierarchical boundaries can help organizations to achieve transformational change. The key to getting employees to buy into change is dialogue not dictation. Through dialogue, employees’ concerns can be addressed and ideally eliminated, so they can start to learn how the proposed change will be better. As people become more open, the organization becomes more transparent and trust is fostered, enabling collective solution building and idea sharing to occur.

Lean Tip #974 - Coach for Continuous Improvement
Organizations need continuous improvement in all areas if they are to remain successful.  Meet with members of your team often.  Make them individual change champions for their areas of responsibility.  Encourage strategic thinking and planning for their roles and future roles.  Help them develop the skills needed to implement these anticipated changes.

Lean Tip #975 - Catch People Doing the Right Thing. 

It’s easy catching people doing the wrong thing, any manager can do that.  Inspirational leaders deliberately set out to catch people doing the right thing.  They acknowledge it when they see it, point it out to everyone around, make heroes of them in the workplace and reward the right behaviors.

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