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Monday, February 1, 2021

Lean Tips Edition #166 (#2701-#2715)

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 #2701 – Stick to Your Goals: Create a Measurable Goal.

Don't bother creating a vague resolution like, "I want to get healthier," or "I want to be happier." Some days you'll feel as though you're reaching your goals, but other days you won't--and an intangible, vague goal will cause you to feel lost. 

Create measurable goals like, "I want to go to the gym three nights per week," or "I want to see my friends twice a month." Then, you'll have a clear target to aim for.

Lean Tip #2702 – Stick to Your Goals: Identify Clear Action Steps.

You can't lose weight or get out of debt without actions steps that will help you get there. Create a plan that includes objectives that will create change.

Whether you are going to eat a salad for lunch every day or you're going to stop eating out until you've paid off your credit card bill, commit to taking action that will help you get closer to your goal.

Lean Tip #2703 – Stick to Your Goals: Set Yourself Up for Success.

It's easy to feel motivated early on in the process. But after a week or two, your motivation will naturally wane.

To prepare yourself for that dip in motivation, set yourself up for success well in advance. Make bad habits inconvenient and good habits convenient.

Store the cookies in a hard to reach place. Keep your workout gear packed and ready to go. You'll be more likely to do things that feel easy, even when your motivation declines. 

Lean Tip #2704 – Stick to Your Goals: Plan for Obstacles.

There will always be temptations and obstacles that could easily derail you from your resolution. It may be an invitation to dinner that could blow your budget--or your diet. Or it may come in the form of a special project at work that leaves you with fewer hours to devote to your goals.

Think about the obstacles you're likely to encounter in the first weeks after establishing your resolution. Consider how you'll navigate these challenges, and develop a plan.

Planning ahead for the probable challenges can help you feel equipped to handle the unexpected obstacles that crop up along the way as well.

Lean Tip #2705 – Stick to Your Goals: Track Your Progress.

You need to know if you're headed in the right direction. So it's important to find a way to track your progress.

Use an app or a calendar to check off the days you work on your goal. Or create a chart, spreadsheet, or graph that helps you visualize your progress.

When you're able to see how you're doing and the steps you're taking, it can remind you how far you've come. Reviewing your effort can also help you stay on course when it feels as though you're not making any headway (which is common).

Keep in mind that progress doesn't always come in a straight line. Sometimes, things get a little worse before they get better--but this doesn't mean you should give up.

Lean Tip #2706 – A Culture of Collaboration Leverages Employee’s Knowledge

Having a culture of collaboration enables organizations to maximize the knowledge and capabilities of their employees. Ideas and information spread more easily when employees communicate and collaborate across an organization. When planning your improvement initiatives be sure to assemble a diverse team to collaborate and present ideas.

Process improvement is a team effort, so it is essential to let everyone know “we’re in this together.” To demonstrate this attitude, some businesses hold cross-functional process improvement brainstorming sessions to get teams thinking outside the box about process improvement. These sessions can also serve as an opportunity to work through process pain points together to jointly come up with the best improvement ideas.

Lean Tip #2707 – Leadership Credibility is Critical for Employee Buy In

Most sustainable business transformations start at the top and trickle down. It’s impossible to promote a culture of continuous change if managers doubt the benefits of organizational changes. Meet with your leaders early on to explain key points of the proposed changes. Gaining support from leaders at different levels in the organization will make your plan stronger and ensure managers have time to prepare for questions that may arise throughout the process.

The credibility of your leader is crucial in getting people to buy in on the change. Their words must be backed up with actions, and those actions and support should be visible to your entire operation. This ensures a strong and visible network of leaders to generate momentum for  the process improvement initiatives.

Lean Tip #2708 – Build Trust With Open and Transparent Communication 

One of the best ways to build trust with your team members is to be open and transparent with your intentions, your projects, and your progress. Establish a constant communication plan to keep your team involved in your improvement efforts. Use many different forums to consistently communicate the vision and the new changes: large group meetings, memos, emails, newsletters, posters, and informal one-on-one talks. 

Real buy-in invites discussion, debate, and allows everyone to feel even more vested in the outcome. Establish a way from team members to communicate with you about their thoughts on the proposed changes. The feedback you’ll receive is critical and will allow you to refine your targets and foresee roadblocks that you may have been unaware of.

Lean Tip #2709 – Have A Clear Vision 

As you develop changes or make decisions that will affect your workforce, you should consider how you will communicate these changes and the reasoning behind them.  Clearly state what will be changing and why.

Make sure you show them why these changes matters to the organization, how it will positively impact their careers, and how you plan to measure success. Without knowing why you’re starting a new initiative, employees have no reason to be on board with the approach you present.

People have trouble developing a vision of what life will look like on the other side of a change. So, they tend to cling to the known rather than embrace the unknown. If your vision for the future is clear and communicated well, then your team will be more willing to follow you forward.

Lean Tip #2710 – Ensure Your Team has Proper Training

People are only as effective as the tools that they have available. Ensure that your team has the proper training, ongoing support, and the resources they need to get involved with your improvement initiatives.

The impact of offering training to your staff is two-fold. First, it ensures your teams have the proper training, ongoing support, and the resources they need to get involved with and contribute to your continuous improvement initiatives. Second, providing your employees with training that will further their skill-sets demonstrates the organization’s willingness to invest in them and their careers.

Lean Tip #2711 – Hear What Your Employees Are Actually Saying

The most powerful way to build any relationship and make someone feel valued is to listen. Opening your ear to employees to find out what’s going right and wrong is smart business. You avoid many plane crashes by regularly asking people, “How’s it going?”, before really listening to their answer. It’s always nice to get a compliment, but there’s real gold in well-intentioned criticism from a loyal employee. The only way you’ll get the gold is by actively listening.

—Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on ”Shark Tank″

Lean Tip #2712 – Empower, Ask, and Listen

Our job as leaders is to empower our teams and root for them. My employees unequivocally know that I want to win, but not at their expense. Make it clear to your employees that you want them to be happy and live their dreams. Instill a strong sense of trust and safety. That kind of support builds insane loyalty, while inspiring employees to go all in and deliver.

Another hallmark of a good leader is to ask questions. It’s the best way to show your team that you recognize they’re more than just cogs on a wheel. “Hey, how are things going?” “How’s the new baby?” “What are you excited about lately?” “Any ideas you’d like to discuss?” And then, for God’s sake, listen.

—Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerMedia (700+ employees with over $100 million in annual revenue), NYT-bestselling author, and mentor on Planet of the Apps

Lean Tip #2713 – Help Every Employee Reach Their Goals

You need to hold people accountable to their goals. One of the big steps in that process is having someone identify their true motivation, or why.

Create an environment that encourages and fosters this type of growth. Schedule team and individual meetings where you create the opportunity for employees to define their why. Encourage them to set ambitious goals at work and in their personal lives.

Finally, act as a coach and accountability partner as they implement their goals. When you take a genuine interest in your employees and impact their lives beyond the office, you build lasting relationships and a more loyal tribe.

—Tom Ferry, CEO of Tom Ferry International, ranked the #1 Swanepoel Power 200 real estate coach, and NYT-bestselling author of ″Life! By Design”

Lean Tip #2714 – Give Employees Room to Try New Things and Fail

Encourage your employees to take responsibility and embrace accountability, and you’ll build trust and connections like nothing else — if you deal with their learning curves and failures appropriately.

One of my department heads once cost our company $30,000. We arranged a meeting early the next morning. I kicked it off by getting his valued input on upcoming strategic plans. He stopped me a minute into the conversation and said: “You know I cost the company $30,000. I thought you asked me here to fire me.”

“Fire you?” I said. “Why would I fire someone just after investing $30,000 into their education?”

—John Hanna, author of ”Way of the Wealthy″ and CEO of Fairchild Group

Lean Tip #2715 – Invest In Your Most Important Asset

When your team is happy, energetic, and excited, they’re better equipped to deal with paying customers and their positive energy is infectious.

I create this by investing money, but most importantly, my personal time. I get to know my employees by asking meaningful questions (family, spouse, children), and do my best to remember the answers.

A true leader is in the trenches with their team, fighting for the same goals together. That’s how you build relationships. Keep the best talent by keeping them happy. After all, people are more important than the dollars they generate.

—Mark Bloom, president at NetWorth Realty, ranked by Glassdoor among the “Best Places to Work” for two consecutive years


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