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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Daily Lean Tips Edition #67 (1006-1020)

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 #1006 - Be Honest About Mistakes.
A manager sets the tone for her team. If she admits mistakes and expects her team members to call her out when she violates team norms, then she will set a powerful example for accountability.

Lean Tip #1007 - Empower Your Employees to Make the Right or Wrong Choices.
If all companies operated on this principle, I personally think that people would be a whole lot happier at work! There should be no penalty for making a mistake and precisely for that reason, each and everyone on the team thinks about our decisions and its impact. Even if we make a mistake, management should never makes us feel bad about it – ever!

Lean Tip #1008 - Listen to and Value Your Employees
Don’t focus on the overall corporate value and benefit when communicating collaboration to employees.  Employees care about how this will impact them on an individual basis.  How will this make their jobs and lives easier?

We are always so adamant about listening to the voice of the customer, yet we should also consider the voice of the employee. When going down the collaboration road within your enterprise it’s important to make employees a part of the decision making process from step one.  Listen to their ideas, their needs, and their suggestions and integrate their feedback in your technology and strategy.

Lean Tip #1009 – Collaboration Means You Must Adapt and Evolve
It’s important to remember that collaboration is perpetual.  It’s a never ending evolution as new tools and strategies for the workplace continue to emerge.  This means that it’s important for your organization to be able to adapt and evolve as things change.  Keep a pulse on what’s going on in the industry and inside of your organization.  This will allow you to innovate and anticipate.

Lean Tip #1010 - Create a Supportive Environment For Collaboration
If your organization focuses on rewarding employees for individual performance as the main driver of success then it will become quite hard to encourage employees to share and communicate with each other.  Why would they want to?

There is nothing wrong with rewarding employees for great performance but it’s also crucial to reward teamwork.  For example, organizations can make a percentage of an employee’s bonus tied to how well they collaborate with their co-workers.  A supportive environment also means having training and education resources available for employees as well as evangelists within the organization.

Lean Tip #1011 - Focus on the Positive.
Regardless of what we are doing, there are usually some positive aspects to it. If the results are the most positive aspect of your task at hand, then focus on results. If someone’s life will be better because of your efforts, focus on that. You will get a lot more enjoyment out of your work when you choose to focus on the positive aspects of everything you do.

Lean Tip #1012 - Don’t Over Think Things.
If we spend too much time dwelling on something rather than just doing it, we can easily make a big deal out of nothing. Taking action has a way of smoothing out bumps in the road, but procrastination tends to make them worse. The sooner we get moving, the less time we will have for over thinking every little detail.

Lean Tip #1013 - Always Do Your Best.
Work can easily become a chore when you don’t care enough to do your best. There is a certain sense of satisfaction that only comes from a job well done. If you just show up and do as little as possible, you will never really enjoy your work because there won’t be any sense of satisfaction attached to it. Avoidance makes work feel less enjoyable, not more!

Lean Tip #1014 - Set High Standards for Yourself.
You should live and work by the highest possible standards. Don’t give in to the temptation to lower your standards to match the lazy goof offs who think they are getting away with something. The work you do is a reflection of your character and sense of self-worth. Living and working in a way that supports your highest standards will give you sound reasons to feel really good about yourself.

Lean Tip #1015 - Focus on What Matters.
Because our minds are constantly pulling us in different directions, it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. The only way to get the truly important things done is to be ruthless at removing and ignoring distractions. There is no shortage of valueless busy work that can easily rob us of our time and energy. Don’t let that happen to you. Work is much more enjoyable when we focus on the things that really matter.

Lean Tip #1016 - Be a Leader, Not Only a Manager
Motivating a team is worthless unless you provide direction; unless you turn that motivation toward a goal and lead the team to it. It is the ability to lead others that truly sets a manager apart from their peers. Remember that leaders are found at all levels of the organization, so be one.

Lean Tip #1017 - Be a Motivator to Get the Most From People
Human beings do things because we want to. Sometimes we want to because the consequences of not wanting to do something are unpleasant. However, most of the time we want to do things because of what we get out of it.

It's no different at work, people do good work for the pay, or the prestige, or the recognition. They do bad work because they want to take it easy and still get paid. They work really hard because they want to impress someone. To motivate your people better, figure out what they want and how you can give that to them for doing what you want them to do.

Lean Tip #1018 - Start Each Day Reviewing Recent Successes, Critical Goals, and Possible Roadblocks as a Team.
Have quick daily huddle meetings to review recent projects, celebrate successes, review upcoming goals, and uncover possible issues. These meetings should last no longer than a few minutes and should focus on the most tactical, pressing issues of the day.

Lean Tip #1019 - Lead Your Workforce From the Gemba.
In order to build trust, leaders must connect with their workforce. That means getting out of the offices and conference rooms and walking the floor. Stop by employees’ cubicles, take a seat, and see what they’re working on. Go to the Gemba (place) where the work is done.

Lean Tip #1020 - Show Employees Why Their Work Matters.

Even employees who are passionate about their jobs can lose sight of the bigger picture if they can’t see how their work impacts the company. To help boost morale, introduce them to some of the customer their work impacts. This will show them the results of their projects and provide a valuable opportunity to receive feedback from the customer. Positive reinforcement from the customer can make employees feel more connected to their work by giving them a sense of pride and ownership. It also provides greater incentive to perform well, boosts confidence in their work, and increases overall job satisfaction.

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