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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Lean Tips Edition #86 (1291-1305)

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 #1291 - Attack the Problem, Not the Person
Being a business leader is solving a long (never-ending) series of problems.  When we get shy or afraid of dealing with a problem, often it’s because we don’t want to attack a person.

Learn to attack the problem, and not the person.  Lay out the problem for them clearly, discuss solutions, and make a decision.  Separate the person or people from the problem.

Good leaders can solve problems in this way without others leaving bitter or feeling they were treated unfairly.

Lean Tip #1292 - Struggle, but Don't Suffer
Struggle – when you are pushing, fumbling some, changing, and figuring new things out to get better.

Suffer – when you are repeating the same mistakes, dealing with the same underperformers, and not making progress, yet still not making the changes you need to make.

Struggle, but don’t suffer.

Lean Tip #1293 - Nobody Becomes Successful by Accident
If you want to be a good sailor, you study sailing.  If you want to be a good investor, you study investing.

If you want to be a good business builder, you study business.  If you want to be a good team builder, you learn about team building.  If you want to be a good leader, you study leadership.

What books are YOU reading?  What audios are you listening to in your car RIGHT NOW?

Lean Tip #1294 - How You Respond is More Important
There is what happens and how you respond to what happens.  Usually how you respond is more important.  If you allow negative events and others behavior to get under your skin, you are killing yourself with it.  They aren’t killing you with what they did, you are with how you respond.

Business is a game.  This happens, I do this.  That happens, I input that.  I put this in place and it yields these results.  It’s a never ending loop of inputs and responses from employees and customers and competitors.  

Play the game.  Control your responses and inputs, but don’t beat yourself up with poor emotional reactions.

You’re in charge no matter what happens.

Lean Tip #1295 - Stay Connected With Customers
A leaders job is to build a team that gets the results we are looking for.  Recruiting, training, implementing systems…it’s a lot of “inside work”.  But don’t forget to stay in touch with customers.

Go out in the field once in a while, and talk to them on the phone.  Stay connected, and it reminds you why you are doing the rest of it each day.

What are we without customers?

Lean Tip #1296 – Deal With Resistance to Change Proactively
Managing resistance to change is challenging and it’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change. Expecting that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a proactive step. It’s far better to anticipate objections than to spend your time putting out fires, and knowing how to overcome resistance to change is a vital part of any change management plan.

Lean Tip #1297 – Don’t Assume Everyone’s Reaction to Change Will Be The Same
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in initiating major company changes is to expect that everyone’s reaction will be even remotely like yours.

Regardless of the catalyst for the change, it will be your employees who determine whether it successfully achieves its desired outcome. Organizations don’t change – People do – or they don’t.

Lean Tip #1298 – Don’t Manage Change, Provide Leadership
To many leaders focus too much on management and too little on leadership. That is mainly because managers are taught to use management tools, of which many exist. Leadership, on the other hand, is hard to teach, springing as it does from many personal qualities. And, compared to the great quantity of management tools, few leadership tools are available to the manager. One of the few – and one of the most effective – is storytelling.

Lean Tip #1299 – Involve Employees When Implementing Change
Leaders must actively involve the people most affected by the change in its implementation. This will help ensure employees at all levels of the organization embrace the proposed changes.

Lean Tip #1300 – Avoid Over-reliance On Structure and Systems to Change Behavior
Structural and systems changes help create a new context and orientation. And they have the surface appeal of being visible and fast. But people do not become different just because you put them in a new context. Structures and systems, by themselves, don’t change people’s behavior or give them new skills.

Lean Tip #1301 – Avoid the Failure to Distinguish Between Decision-driven and Behavior Dependent Change
Creating a higher level of performance, lowering cost, raising quality, carving out a new relationship to the market always requires a mix of decisions and behavior change. Decisions concern such things as market position, alliances, and product lines. Behavior change asks people to act differently, gain new skills, or shift the organization’s culture. Getting people to change their behavior requires a different mindset and a different set of leadership skills than making decisions about strategy.

Lean Tip #1302 – Change Requires Skills and Resources to be Successful
Change does not happen through goals and exhortation alone. Like any business operation, it also calls for the right skills and resources, Organizations often simply fail to commit the necessary time, people, and resources to making change work. Paradoxically, successful behavior change often demands the very skills the change Is trying to create.

Lean Tip #1303 – Don’t Assume that Change is Complete Once Initial Goals Are Achieved.
If you declare victory too soon, the focus will be taken away from your efforts, and all traces of your hard work could soon disappear. Successful companies consistently re-evaluate their change efforts to determine where other areas can be improved, such as employee development and retention, new projects and new systems and structures.

Lean Tip #1304 – Plan for Small Successive Successes to Stick to Vision
An important part of sticking to the vision is to create opportunities to achieve smaller goals along the way. These small successes will not only work directly toward achieving the desired change, but will create positive feelings of accomplishment and the drive to pursue the next goal.

Lean Tip #1305 – Using the Wrong Measures or Misinterpreting Them will Lead You Astray
When a major change effort gets under way, executives often are scared off by the symptoms of their success.  Don’t panic if you see problems vis-à-vis morale, job stress, loyalty, the trust level or job satisfaction.  It could be proof that you’re doing precisely the right things.

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