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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Lean Tips Edition #154 (#2521 - 2535)

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 #2521 – Schedule Regular Team Brainstorms For Ideas.
Build ongoing brainstorm sessions into the weekly or monthly meeting rhythm. This creates a culture of open engagement and ensures your team that their ideas are valued. For all ideas selected, follow up with incentives. Even a small gift card, a lunch out with you or access to company products and services goes a long way to show appreciation and fuel future innovation.

Lean Tip #2522 – Build the Right Environment For Ideas.
As a leader, your role is to knock down walls and develop an environment that evokes creative thinking from your team. The team needs to feel that their voice is appreciated and that they have room to do cool things. Let them test their ideas, see what works and what could be improved, and make sure they know that they have to opportunity to do so.

Lean Tip #2523 – Be Transparent With Overall Business Goals.
The more teams know about changing goals and new opportunities for the business, the more involved they will feel in its success. Creative ideas stem naturally from the desire to participate in the company's growth and awareness of the right direction. The resulting successful marketing campaigns compound the benefits on a morale level and reinforce employee loyalty.

Lean Tip #2524 – Ask the Team What They Want to Learn.
One of the best ways to engage your team is by asking what they'd like to learn. Develop a project that encourages them to dive deep into what you are already doing, research competitors in the space and present strategy ideas. This project will help them to structure feedback and learn more from the experience than just sharing a few early ideas.

Lean Tip #2525 – Encourage Mistakes.
One of the best ways to encourage creative ideas is by making it really clear that mistakes are not just tolerated but encouraged. Understanding that not all creative ideas are going to be wins creates a comfortable environment to brainstorm ideas and walk through new concepts. Mistakes are part of every creative process, and making room for them allows for innovative thinking.

Lean Tip #2526 – Offer Positive Reinforcement For Idea.
Sometimes the best way to encourage a team member is to not discourage them. If a team member suggests an idea that obviously will not work or is even irrelevant, don't put them down, especially in front of others. If they have a great idea in the future, they may hesitate or refuse to share for fear of being mocked. Foster an environment where there are no bad ideas.

Lean Tip #2527 – Share Your Idea.
People who are shy about sharing their ideas usually feel their ideas are not great and they may look bad in front of their colleagues. Assert that no ideas are dumb and that you welcome all ideas. Let your team submit ideas via email or one on one. Discuss submitted ideas anonymously in team meetings so everyone can hear about them and let people choose the idea that they like the best.

Lean Tip #2528 – Challenge the Way You Work
Encourage employees to keep looking anew at the way they approach their work. Ask people what works well and what doesn't. Allocate time for thinking about different approaches. Appeal for original ways to solve particular problems. Keep your door open to anyone with new ideas. Encourage people to work together and share ideas. Individuals within the team can feed off each other – exploring, testing and refining new approaches.

Lean Tip #2529 – Reward Creativity
Respond enthusiastically to all ideas. Never make someone offering an idea, however hopeless, feel foolish. Give even the most apparently outlandish of ideas a chance to be aired. Motivate individuals or teams who come up with winning ideas by actively recognizing creativity, for example through an awards scheme.

Lean Tip #2530 – Act on Ideas
Creativity is only worthwhile if it results in action. Provide the time and resources to develop and implement those ideas that are worth acting upon.

Following through on good ideas is a powerful way of encouraging staff to keep being creative, coming up with more new ideas to improve the business.

Lean Tip # 2531 – Improve Listening By Recognizing That Employees May Know What They're Doing
The single biggest problem I've seen among executives, managers, and entrepreneurs is the assumption that no one "beneath them" could have anything valuable to say. There are those who will succeed in the face of such arrogance, but any such stories you might have heard are likely outweighed by the legions of others who come to nothing. No one accomplishes much of anything without a lot of help, and to dismiss the experience and insights of others because they're not in charge of the business is smug and stupid.

Lean Tip #2532 – Make Listening a Priority
Listening must be considered as an important skill and must be listed on the top of your priority list. Listening and acknowledging has been an important skill which is mandatory for a leader. When employers and leaders have the mindset that they have all the answers, then they do not listen at all. Hence, it is important to have the intention to listen.

Lean Tip #2533 – Show Employees That You Care
When you listen to their issues and solve it, they believe that you care for them as an employer. When they know you care, then they work harder and aim higher than expected results.

Employees love to work under leaders who care for them, they do not want to be looked as tools or resources utilized for the success of the organization. Employees always want to have a good relationship where employers listen to their concerns at times of professional hardships.

Lean Tip #2534 – Be Mindful of Surroundings
It is a fact that great leaders are always mindful of their surroundings. Along with both verbal and non-verbal communication, they also know to listen in an active manner. They use facial expressions, nods, and body language in order to show that they are responding. Executive presence is an asset that is required for leaders and managers so that they listen effectively.

Lean Tip #2535 – Get Rid of Distractions
It is a fact that people get annoyed when they speak and the listeners don’t listen. In that manner, you should not do the same when someone converses. It would be good to switch off mobiles, turn off tablets or laptop and invest some energy in the one who is speaking on the other side.

When your employee speaks to you and you’re busy with your iPhone or Tab, then it is surely a negative impression for the ones who work for you. Avoiding such distractions when you speak to your employees can be one best way that can be followed to listen to employees.

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