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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Lean Tips Edition #174 (#2821 - #2835)

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 #2821 – Culture Change: Mind the Change Curve

So you’ve developed your change strategy. Once you roll it out, employees should be expected to get on board immediately, right? Wrong. This is a common fallacy that many leaders fall victim to because the decision-makers guiding change have already been over the “change curve.” This is the process of questioning, processing, and ultimately accepting the need for organizational change.

Some people are able to get over the change curve quickly, others need more time. But all too often, employees are not given even a remotely acceptable amount of time to come to terms with changes that leaders have had months to process. As you roll out your changes, consider what your employees are experiencing. Where possible, avoid forcing your workforce through abrupt changes by building in time for them to process and ask questions, and be proactive about participating in these conversations.

Lean Tip #2822 – Culture Change: Focus on the People

As you’re trying to build these new processes and structures throughout your organization, don’t forget to keep your employees in the loop. Make sure that they are kept up-to-date on training and have all of the knowledge they need to be successful within the new company culture. Also, don’t be afraid to bring in new employees who can fit within this new culture and bring a fresh perspective. New employees can be help reinforce the company culture change, and keeping your existing employees trained and enthusiastic about the changes will foster change and cooperation.

Lean Tip #2823 – Culture Change: Reward Employees for the Behaviors You Want

You’re trying to drive change, so why not reward your employees for displaying the behaviors that will help be catalysts for change within your organization. Changing your company culture will require buy-in from your employees, and there’s no better way to get them want to change the culture, then by rewarding them for helping them change it.

Lean Tip #2824 – Culture Change: Have Proponents at the Top

For change to be well accepted by employees, it must be visible from the top. A culture change will only stick when it is the priority of the board of directors and the chief executive officer. Therefore, your role as a human resource officer is to develop a framework that shows the board of directors the importance of company culture in your organization.

Senior executives are always looking to support something that has a positive impact on the company’s performance. Therefore, your role is to come up with a plan that shows the contribution of company culture to the organization’s output.

Lean Tip #2825 – Culture Change: Have a Feedback System

Developing a feedback system also changes your workplace culture significantly. But, what does a feedback system entail? This system allows employees to give views about various things in your organization.

The advantage of this system is that it highlights the areas that need improvement in the company. When the suggested issues are sorted out, employees tend to develop a positive culture that takes the company forward.

You will be surprised to find out that employees also give positive feedback. Doing so enables them to appreciate the good things that are happening in your organization that makes them develop a culture of gratitude.

Lean Tip #2826 – Praise Your Employees Often

It’s true that your employees are paid to do their jobs. But that doesn’t mean you should take their efforts for granted. Regularly recognize your employees’ efforts, and do so in a way that’s meaningful to them. Employees are happier when they know their superiors and colleagues notice their work.

Lean Tip #2827 – Brainstorm Ideas With Your Employees

Your employees are geniuses, so pick their brains. Great leaders understand that they are not the only people capable of making good decisions or coming up with innovative ideas. To increase office morale, tell your employees you’re always open to hearing their ideas. And turn the right ones into reality.

Lean Tip #2828 – Train Your Managers to Become Better Coaches

Teaching your managers to seek out the unique talents of their employees will foster an environment that builds on those attributes, which also helps businesses remain agile during challenging times. Managers can put this approach to practice by helping employees create job descriptions that align their passions with the company’s why. This naturally increases employee morale, engagement, and productivity.

Effective managers don’t just push for high performance, they value helping people discover their natural talents and seek out opportunities to utilize those strengths. Not only does this tap into a deeper, more intrinsic type of motivation for employees, but it also allows managers to increase the capability of their teams.

Lean Tip #2829 – Learn From Each Other

When managing a group of people, it’s crucial to remind your team that it’s made up of individuals who bring diverse skills to the group. This, of course, applies to workplace skills—Excel, PowerPoint, public speaking—but don’t forget about the perhaps underutilized creative talents of your employees.

Every few weeks, try hosting a rotating “skillshare” where a team member presents an untapped skill to the entire group. You never know—you might have a secret wine connoisseur, art history buff, or mini golf champ among you! Encouraging people to share their talents and interests will not only give them a chance to work on something they’re really excited about, it’ll also help the group to unwind together.

Lean Tip #2830 – Request Feedback From Your Employees

Consider being open to suggestions for improvement from your employees. You might implement employee surveys or hold a monthly discussion to hear what your teams think and what they see as successful, needing improvement or changes they think should be made to improve the overall growth of the company. Offer ways for employees to collaborate on improvement plans or change implementations. Not only can this allow your staff to feel included in the decision-making process, but it can also allow employees to have more impact on the processes within the business.

Lean Tip #2831 – Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem. This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

Lean Tip #2832 – Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive. 

Lean Tip #2833 – Have the Right Mindset.

Attitude is everything; it's simple cognitive psychology. How you psychologically approach a problem is linked to how you view the solution. At the most foundation level, if you believe there is a solution there is a solution.

Problem solvers are playful, curious and inquisitive and choose to have a positive outlook and use positive language. If you think something is impossible, it becomes impossible. Likewise, if you think something is possible, it becomes possible. Your outlook frames everything so choose it actively and wisely. Doing just that is an action plan of its own.

Lean Tip #2834 – Get Good at Making Decisions, Even If You’re Admittedly Lukewarm on Your Choice.

Decision-making is a skill in itself and also a problem-solving strategy when you can actually make choices. That’s partly because making an important decision can be daunting and pressure-filled. A key piece of problem-solving is coming up with an idea for a solution and running with it. If it doesn’t work, you pivot. The point is to get comfortable driving to — and actually making — a decision.

Lean Tip #2835 – Change Your Mindset.

When you view a problem as burdensome, you avoid it. Who actually wants to deal with something that's frustrating, overwhelming, or seemingly impossible?

However, if you change your mindset to view challenges as a way to grow, you'll be less stressed about finding a solution. What's more, your mind will break down and analyze the problem more easily, you'll be more flexible, and you'll be better suited to take care of future issues.

While changing your mindset to start viewing problems as opportunities doesn't occur overnight, it helps to first realize that problems are inevitable. The sooner you come to terms with this, the better you'll be able to approach any dilemma with open-mindedness.

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