Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Daily Lean Tips Edition #73 (1096-1110)

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 #1096 - Actively promote organizational effectiveness, reputation, values and ethics
Actively promote organizational effectiveness, reputation, values and ethics – Employees want to feel good about their leaders, where they work, the products they sell and the reputation of their company.

Lean Tip #1097 - Collaborate and Share on Problem-solving
When employees get the idea that their manager or leader is the one who has to solve all the problems, it takes away from their sense of empowerment, and ultimately is likely to decrease engagement over time. Encourage team members to take responsibility, and work through problems or issues on their own, or collaboratively. It’s not the manager’s job to fix everyone else’s problems.

Lean Tip #1098 - Taking Risks is Critical to a Culture of Innovation
Innovation can be a company’s best strategic advance, especially in today’s competitive and crowded marketplace. However, for the innovation to occur, most companies have to be willing to embrace the risk of potential failure. Actually, this kind of an approach across the company always has to start with the tone at the top – if employees see their manager taking risks and testing new ideas, they are more likely to follow suit.

As ideas cannot be shared without honest and open communication, encourage your employees to say a thing or two about company’s latest projects. Communication always takes time, so adequate time and place for discussion and meetings must be apportioned into the normal schedule.

Lean Tip #1099 - Give Employees a Voice
Encourage your employees to make comments and suggestions. You might even consider placing a comment box in the break room. By doing so, employees will realize that their thoughts and feeling matter. If there is a personal comment or suggestion that needs to be addressed, do so immediately. Otherwise, consider trying any feasible ideas that are suggested.

Lean Tip #1100 - Remove Blame Culture – Make Failure Acceptable
Innovation is one of the key ingredients in business success and if you want to create an innovative organization you'll need to motivate your staff to show initiative, think creatively and even take some risks. But, they won't do this in a blame culture environment where employees are castigated for failure and for trying something new; they will become afraid to think creatively and won't be motivated to innovate. Companies with a blame culture are disadvantaged in relation to creativity, learning, innovation and productive risk-taking. Replace a blame culture with one of learning from mistakes. Encourage workers to own up to mistakes but with a focus on what has been learned from it. Senior managers should lead the way by owning up to mistakes to show that it is OK to fail.

Lean Tip #1101 – Goals: Specific, realistic goals work best. 
When it comes to making a change, the people who succeed are those who set realistic, specific goals. "I'm going to recycle all my plastic bottles, soda cans, and magazines" is a much more doable goal than "I'm going to do more for the environment." And that makes it easier to stick with.

Lean Tip #1102 – Goals: It takes time for a change to become an established habit. 
It will probably take a couple of months before any changes — like getting up half an hour early to exercise — become a routine part of your life. That's because your brain needs time to get used to the idea that this new thing you're doing is part of your regular routine.

Lean Tip #1103 – Goals: Repeating a goal makes it stick. 
Say your goal out loud each morning to remind yourself of what you want and what you're working for. (Writing it down works too.) Every time you remind yourself of your goal, you're training your brain to make it happen.

Lean Tip #1104 – Goals: Pleasing other people doesn't work. 
The key to making any change is to find the desire within yourself — you have to do it because you want it, not because a girlfriend, boyfriend, coach, parent, or someone else wants you to. It will be harder to stay on track and motivated if you're doing something out of obligation to another person.

Lean Tip #1105 – Goals: Roadblocks don't mean failure. 
Slip-ups are actually part of the learning process as you retrain your brain into a new way of thinking. It may take a few tries to reach a goal. But that's OK — it's normal to mess up or give up a few times when trying to make a change. So remember that everyone slips up and don't beat yourself up about it. Just remind yourself to get back on track.

Lean Tip #1106 – Create New Habit: Commit to Thirty Days
Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar.

Lean Tip #1107 – Create New Habit: Start Simple
Don’t try to completely change everything in one day. It is easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. For example, If you wanted to study two hours a day, first make the habit to go for thirty minutes and build on that.

Lean Tip #1108 – Create New Habit: Make it Daily
Consistency is critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. Activities you do once every few days are trickier to lock in as habits.

Lean Tip #1109 – Create New Habit: Run it as an Experiment
Withhold judgment until after a month has past and use it as an experiment in behavior. Experiments can’t fail, they just have different results so it will give you a different perspective on changing your habit.

Lean Tip #1110 – Create New Habit: Be Imperfect
Don’t expect all your attempts to change habits to be successful immediately. It took me four independent tries before I started exercising regularly. Now I love it. Try your best, but expect a few bumps along the way.

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