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Friday, June 30, 2017

Lean Quote: Build Commitment by Engaging Employees

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"No single seminar, classroom experience, or “colored belt” will provide you bottom-line Lean results.  Lean happens at the process…with your people, trained and motivated, fully engaged in the hot pursuit of excellence, as they follow your lead and learn to share and support your Lean Vision." — Bill Hanover, CCO, TPS – ThroughPut Solutions

As a leader, it’s your job to take your company in the right direction. But you’re only as strong as the weakest member of your team. Challenge employees to be the best they can be. Give them tasks that put them outside their comfort zones every now and again. Then guide and motivate them. It’s not only a good way to keep your employees striving for excellence; it’s also a way for you to see how certain people will react in certain situations.

The real expert at a job is the person doing the job. Your employees will often have ideas to improve the product, service or processes that managers may not spot. But this means that managers and senior leaders need to be enthusiastic about the idea and committed to it.

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.

The best way to build commitment is by involving people. This way they will have a sense of ownership. By involving your frontline teams in selecting the project that they believe will make a difference, you’ll build ownership, engagement, and have their commitment.

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