Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lean Tips Edition #127 (1906-1915)

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 #1906 – Establish Goals For Your Team And Ensure They’re Accountable For Getting Their Work Done.
Create accountability for your employees by aligning your team’s goals with company goals. This will allow them to have a better understanding of the big picture and to make more valuable contributions. Working together on strategic initiatives contributes to a shared feeling of success and improves a team’s ability to work together.

Lean Tip #1907 – Be the Leader Your Team Needs and Lead By Example
To improve employee relationships and promote teamwork, resolve interpersonal issues when they arise. Be sure not to let disagreements or hurt feelings fester. Encourage communication by bringing things out into the open and resolving issues as soon as possible.

Lean Tip #1908 – Foster a Collaborative Environment
Your team requires both an open company culture as well as a physical space that encourages collaboration and creativity. These are the elements of an environment that fosters discussion, idea-sharing and brainstorming among team members. Remind your employees that there are no stupid ideas. Establish trust and make sure they feel comfortable sharing ideas without judgment. In other words, provide the space to brainstorm in a way that embraces your team’s diversity, encourages teamwork and is open and non-judgmental.

Lean Tip #1909 – Reward Good Teamwork
Look for ways to acknowledge spirited teamwork on a regular basis. Reward your team for good teamwork by planning non-work related activities. These kinds of events are also great for helping build the team relationship outside the office. They help establish trust and make employees feel like they’re truly part of the team—or the family.

Lean Tip #1910 – Examine and Improve Teamwork Processes and Practices
The team should be able to discuss team norms and what is stopping them from moving forward and progressing as a business. The team’s progress should be reviewed regularly, possibly on a weekly basis, and issues and conflicts dealt with in a productive manner. If a resolution can’t be made, then ask your supervisor for advice and help. Constructive feedback should be given, and should be focused on ideas and behaviors, being positive, and providing suggestions for improving work processes. Everyone should also help each other in developing and using strategies to achieve their goals.

Lean Tip #1911 – Listen To Those Around You
An important trait of any business leader is the ability to listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand and you’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue. Communication is critical to the success of any company and if you as a leader take the time to promote open discourse, your employees will thrive and so will your business.

Lean Tip #1912 – Find Solutions Not Problems
Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team to do the same. In business, you will come across problems, hurdles and challenges (they are unavoidable) but it’s how you overcome those problems as a team that will define your business.

Lean Tip #1913 – Take Risks to Breed Culture of Continuous Improvement
Inspire change and innovation by taking calculated risks – it will demonstrate your commitment to a larger purpose and will breed a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. If those around you see you put your head above the parapet and be counted, they will be encouraged to do the same. This entrepreneurial mindset will catapult your business to new heights.

Lean Tip #1914 – Be Proactive and Persistent
Try, try and then try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team, rather your successes do. As a leader it is your duty to keep morale buoyant and encourage your team to keep plugging away towards the company’s end goals. Set an example for your team by handling challenges in a proactive and constructive way, and show employees through your words and actions that giving up isn’t the adequate response when faced with obstacles.

Lean Tip #1915 - Develop and Support Employees
Leaders are in a position to empower employees and help develop them professionally. By prioritizing opportunities for career development and advancement, leaders can demonstrate their commitment to the wellbeing of their employees.


Supporting employees in developing their soft and technical skills is an important leadership responsibility. Understanding your employees’ aspirations and encouraging them to be creative and take initiative can help them gain experience and take on more responsibilities in the future. Additionally, acknowledge and reward proactive participation to encourage continued progress among employees.

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