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Monday, September 19, 2016

Lean Tips Edition #100 (1501-1515)

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 #1501 - Display Your Sincere Commitment to Company, Team, and Personal Goals.
Management spends valuable time creating goals and objectives. At times, employees resist buying into these objectives, sometimes vocally. Leaders develop commitment to achieving goals. By displaying in word and action that you have committed to management and personal goals, you are showing your peers that you are a leader.

Lean Tip #1502- Become a Source of Positive Energy and Motivation at Work.
Energy and enthusiasm are highly contagious. Leaders show emotion, passion, energy, and enthusiasm for everything they do at the workplace. Others usually need no further encouragement. Co-workers typically jump on the leader’s train heading toward higher performance.

Lean Tip #1503 - Problem Solve; Avoid Procrastination
Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand.    They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them).

Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing.

Lean Tip #1504 - Properly Allocate and Deploy Talent
Successful leaders know their talent pool and how to use it.  They are experts at activating the capabilities of their colleagues and knowing when to deploy their unique skill sets given the circumstances at hand.

Lean Tip #1505 - Be a Great Teacher
Many employees in the workplace will tell you that their leaders have stopped being teachers.   Successful leaders never stop teaching because they are so self-motivated to learn themselves.  They use teaching to keep their colleagues well-informed and knowledgeable through statistics, trends, and other newsworthy items.

Successful leaders take the time to mentor their colleagues and make the investment to sponsor those who have proven they are able and eager to advance.

Lean Tip #1506 - Hold a Daily, Quick Company Meeting
While meetings are generally considered a necessity, they can carry on to the point where they eat away at the work day. Shorter, more efficient meetings, which cover the basics in 10 minutes flat can be beneficial.

A Daily Huddle is a quick 10-minute meeting to gather as a company. The meeting serves as a firehose of information that keeps everyone in the loop, including a roundup of our key performance indicators, the celebration of accomplishments, and the identification of opportunities to improve.

Not only is it a good way to keep all employees up to speed on any new developments within the company, keeping meetings short and sweet forces a streamlined meeting process, and reduces time wasted.

Lean Tip #1507 - Stick with the Established Process
If you have a project that is already underway, trying to speed things up can result in cutting corners. Stick with the process that is established. If we try to cut corners to speed up the process, something gets missed, which must be fixed later and costs time and money. Things go more smoothly if we stick to the process we started with.

But, if you’re changing a process, do so deliberately, not just on a whim or because you’re behind schedule. Processes can be changed, but they should be changed intentionally and with communication to the full team after the potential change has been approved.

Lean Tip #1508 - Embrace Feedback
Your employees have opinions. Encourage the entire company to embrace feedback, both positive and negative by creating an outlet for it. It’s a good idea to designate a general hub in the building for staff to communicate and make suggestions about the company. Many choose to do this through a specific website centered around human resource issues, serving as a one-stop-shop for work-related issues and updates. You could also use a bulletin board in a central part of the office as a place to share ideas.

Lean Tip #1509 - Keep Employees Involved.
Good employees are hard to find; yet they are an important element in your business. Check to see if they are getting what they need and make them part of the team. Help them understand the importance of their role in your business and how their job impacts the business as a whole. Review your relationship with your employees and find ways to keep your relationship happy and avoid costly attrition.

Lean Tip #1510 - Assess the Performance of Your Business.
Setting clear standards for your business allows you to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of your strategies. If you haven’t done so in the past year, start determining how much you are making per hour of work, how effective your advertising is, and some other measurements of where your business has been. Set some benchmarks and periodically assess how your business is doing. You need to know what you consider an improvement before you can start to improve on it.

Lean Tip #1511 - Involve and Work Through People for Improvement
Avoid being prescriptive with each step of your approach, rather opting to use a facilitated approach to get support and buy in from the teams involved. Always be open to a team using a different approach though still aligned to the overall objectives. Forcing things down people’s throats doesn’t really work well. Good facilitation should allow for a team to reach a pre-conceived conclusion on their own accord. On the same vein, allow the teams to decide what tasks and actions are to be done and offer to help rather than allocate tasks directly to the different people.

Lean Tip #1512 - Encourage Ideas From Anyone
Ideas should come from anyone and no ideas should be turned away. Make everyone aware of the criteria for setting priorities and what the targets are for the Improvement initiative. Assign responsibilities or sponsors who should stimulate the generation of ideas in their areas of influence.  There should always be a surplus of ideas waiting for implementation. Any ideas that are rejected or put on hold should be fed back to the originator, explaining the rationale for the decision.

Lean Tip #1513 - What Gets Measured Gets Managed.
Put in place a good monitoring system to track the number of ideas generated over time, the level participation of people at any one time and cumulatively during the process, the rate of implementation and the benefits. Tracking and showing a direct correlation between efforts and benefits is the best way to sustain improvement. Use agreed targets and KPI’s as your check.

Lean Tip #1514 - Keep Everyone Informed of Progress and Results.
The success of a good Improvement program depends on good feedback and communication surrounding progress. Reports on Progress can take many forms, as long as relevant and timely information is communicated. It’s also important to publicly celebrate any success coming out of the program. Lastly, where new records have been set and old Improvement Targets “smashed”, set new targets and make them known.

Lean Tip #1515 - 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.

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