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Monday, December 22, 2014

Daily Lean Tips Edition #71 (1066-1080)

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 #1066 - Consider Different Perspectives When Solving Problems
It’s good practice to consider the problem from a range of different perspectives, particularly those of the individuals who the problem affects. Depending on the situation, this could include team members, suppliers or customers. Considering the problem from these different angles can help you identify effective solutions that you may not otherwise have thought of.

Lean Tip #1067 – Problem Solving Requires Perseverance
Don’t be disheartened if you’re unable to solve the problem as quickly as you would like to. Taking your time to find the right solution, when you can, is always preferable to jumping to conclusions or rushing into making decisions. Remember to keep those who need to know (e.g. your team members or line manager) updated in terms of your progress, and to manage their expectations throughout the problem-solving process.

Lean Tip #1068 – Keep Calm – Don’t Panic!
It’s important not to panic or rush into making quick decisions when faced with a significant problem. Take some time to think about the problem and the options that are available to you. You might find it helpful to put your initial thoughts down on paper and/or chat through your thinking with a colleague.

Lean Tip #1069 – Problem Solving Requires Creativity
Don’t be afraid to consider new or even unusual solutions to your problem. If you have evidence to suggest that making changes to working practices or technology will prove beneficial, you should put forward a case for this and, if necessary, present it to the relevant individuals (e.g. your line manager or the senior team). If there is a cost attached to your proposed change, you should provide the necessary evidence to highlight what the overall cost saving and/or other benefits would be if your solution were to be implemented.

Lean Tip #1070 - Reflect and Evaluate After Solving a Problem
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 #1071 – Trust is the Fuel that Powers a Successful Team!
Always let your team know that you are available to help. Make an “open-door” policy a “no-door” policy and remove the barriers that could stand in the way. By making communication between you and your team as frictionless as possible, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of their skills and build that must-needed trust. Trust is the fuel that powers a successful team!

Lean Tip #1072 - Encourage your Team Members to Stand Up and Lead!
Ask them about their concerns and the collective concerns of the team. Often, teams express concerns about drama in the workplace, other team members making personal calls during business hours, and team members bringing personal issues from home to work. Other concerns often involve not enough training on new systems, negativity in the office or people not taking responsibility. As a leader, do what you can to resolve these issues before they become areas of contention or conflict.

Lean Tip #1073 - Ask Your Team Members to Bend Over Backwards for Each Other.
To do this, begin a team meeting session by asking your staff to define the qualities of teamwork that impress them. Ask them to think about someone they’ve known in the past or present that represents a true team player: What are the attributes of this person? Often you’ll hear: Consistency, fairness, general cheerfulness, flexibility, positivity and the willingness to change. How do you rate in these categories?

Lean Tip #1074 - True Teamwork Means Encouraging Individual Leadership Development.
To win in today’s market, you need to step up and take a leadership role and ask the same of your team members. Ask your team members to listen. At your team meetings, encourage respectful listening. Allow others to speak, without interruption. Let their voice be heard. Value your staff. Reassure your team members that their contribution and leadership does have a huge impact on your company’s growth and survival.

Lean Tip #1075 – Sincere Listening Will Increase Your Level of Teamwork!
To do this, ask questions. Instead of giving direct orders, ask questions to guide your team members to think through issues and come up with their own solutions. You will find that ownership and subsequent responsibility for the task increase when the team member develops the solution.

Lean Tip #1076 - Align Tasks to Skills and Motivation
Managers don’t motivate employees: People can only motivate themselves. Combining the right skill sets with motivation is paramount in ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently. If you allow your team members to progress into the areas where they excel and are interested in, you will effectively keep them engaged and free yourself from the risk of having disgruntled and frustrated team members.

Lean Tip #1077 - Give the Credit and Take the Blame
Do not indulge in fault-finding or blame games. Pigeonholing a particular member of the team may spread negative vibes within the team and cost you time and quality. Celebrating every small success and appreciating team members will build a sense of camaraderie between team members.

Be a coach rather than the star player and let people make mistakes — that’s the only way they will learn. Put sustainable processes in place and ensure clarity of role and accountabilities so team members become empowered and don’t drop the ball.

Lean Tip #1078 - Empower Everyone to Make Decisions.
Employees function as a high-performing team when they’re empowered to do their jobs autonomously. This includes having the ability to make decisions that affect the business without having to consult you at every turn.

Lean Tip #1079 - Provide Basic Training for Your Employees
Provide your employees with proper job training to help them excel in their career. Ensuring employees complete tasks accurately helps them achieve goals and provides motivation which leads to higher levels of engagement.
Employees are more engaged when they understand their roles and responsibilities within their position. And, an understanding of job responsibilities results in higher levels of performance and commitment to your organization.

Lean Tip #1080 - Build a Customer Focused Team

Today’s best leaders, managers and employees are customer-focused. They understand and anticipate the needs of both internal and external customers. They meet and exceed customer needs with timely, efficient and economical solutions. Make sure your team understands what customers should receive priority (time and resources).

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1 comment:

  1. Tim,
    Thank you for your weekly email of Lean Tips. I purposefully do not link my professional interests to my Facebook account.