Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Daily Lean Tips Edition #79 (1186 - 1200)

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 #1186 - Give People Ownership
Let employees make projects their own, to succeed or fail at. Employees need to be encouraged to create solutions independently of the chain of command. This leads to independent thinking.

Lean Tip #1187 - Make Risk-Taking and Failure Acceptable
Many organizations avoid risk like the plague, and have low tolerance for failure. To give rise to entrepreneurs, leaders and managers need to develop a culture of learning from failure that moves on to the next, more informed attempt…otherwise known as experimentation. Actively encouraging learning is key.

Lean Tip #1188 - Give Employees the Time to Innovate Outside their Current Job Roles. 
Employees of LinkedIn are given three months to pursue and promote new ideas. It should also be noted that some determined employees will go above and beyond the call of duty and develop ideas on their own time.

Lean Tip #1189 - Have a Vision for Change
You cannot expect your team to be innovative if they do not know the direction in which they are headed. Innovation has to have a purpose. It is up to the leader to set the course and give a bearing for the future. Great leaders spend time illustrating the vision, the goals and the challenges. They explain to people how their role is crucial in fulfilling the vision and meeting the challenges. They inspire men and women to become passionate entrepreneurs finding innovative routes to success.

Lean Tip #1190 - Fight the Fear of Change
Innovative leaders constantly evangelize the need for change. They replace the comfort of complacency with the hunger of ambition. ‘We are doing well but we cannot rest on our laurels – we need to do even better. ’They explain that while trying new ventures is risky, standing still is riskier. They must paint a picture that shows an appealing future that is worth taking risks to achieve. The prospect involves perils and opportunities. The only way we can get there is by embracing change.

Lean Tip #1191 - Use Positive Words to Create a Gracious, Polite Workplace in Which Staff Feel Recognized and Rewarded.
Say thank you. Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions. And, don't forget to say please often as well. You did a nice job on that presentation, Jim. Those charts were easy to follow and gave me a great overview of your progress on the project, Elizabeth. Social niceties and compliments do belong at work. A more gracious, polite workplace is appreciated by all.

Lean Tip #1192 - One of the Best Forms of Recognition is to Provide Opportunities for a Contributing Employee.
Opportunities can take many forms. But, all of them are outside of the normal day-to-day requirements of their job plan. Employees appreciate chances for training and cross-training. They want to participate on a special committee where their talents are noticed. They’d like to lead a team that is pursuing an important objective.

Lean Tip #1193 - Never Underestimate the Value of Sharing Your Time and Building a Relationship with Staff.
They appreciate your genuine interest in their ideas and thoughts about their jobs. They like bouncing ideas back and forth with you and look for your sincere input on their projects and goals. The role of mentor and coach is powerful in training your organization’s culture and expectations. It is also a significant source of experiential knowledge, history, work approaches, and on-the-job training.

Lean Tip #1194 – Create a Recognition Culture.
It’s easy: Just make recognition something you measure. One of my old bosses started every management meeting by having every supervisor share two examples of employees they recognized or praised that day. At first it seemed cheesy and forced, but we quickly embraced it.

Plus there was a nice bonus: Peer pressure and natural competitiveness caused a few of us to help our employees accomplish things worthy of praise so we had great stuff to report.

Lean Tip #1195 - Hold Yourself Accountable.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your employees motivated and engaged. Put in the time to learn about each of your team members so that you know what incentives and rewards are most attractive to them. When the time comes, provide successful employees with recognition and rewards that are specific to them.

Lean Tip #1196 - Educate Your Workplace.
Like any other business strategy, ongoing education of the workplace is critical in establishing awareness, developing skills, and institutionalizing the needed mindset and behaviors to bring about effective change. It is no different with Continuous Improvement. Expect and overcome resistance to change with ongoing training, reinforcement of expected behaviors, and recognition of those who are learning and doing.

Lean Tip #1197 - Establish an Enduring Culture.
For continuous improvement to work, there must be a relentless focus on and commitment to getting things right. Adaptability and an action oriented leadership team are inherent components of a continuous improvement culture. Resistance to change exists in all organizations to a degree and it must be recognized for what it is, an impediment to improvement.

Lean Tip #1198 - Establish Improvement as a Core Value.
Establish the core values that comprise the continuous improvement culture such as a focus on supporting the customer, teamwork throughout the extended enterprise, receptivity to evolving continuous improvement concepts and tools. These core values will create a sense of belonging and a common vision for all involved.

Lean Tip #1199 - Communication Planning is Essential for Improvement.
Ensure regular communications to foster collaborative interactions among leaders, stakeholders, and practitioners at all levels. Take advantage of communications techniques appropriate for the information being conveyed. Where needed, schedule face to face meetings and where not needed, use the communication and collaboration tools and capabilities of the enterprise to keep all members updated and involved.

Lean Tip #1200 - Use a Consistent Approach for Improvement.

A consistent and structured approach for project identification and execution will provide the organization with the ability to identify, select, and manage continuous improvement projects. The continuous improvement project process should also provide post-closing process steps to continually refine the improvement project methodology and to act upon the lessons learn from the project effort.


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