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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Lean Tips Edition #176 (Tips #2851 - 2865)

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 #2851 – Managing and Leading are Not the Same Thing

Some successful managers are not good leaders. The art is in knowing when to delegate. You will be developing your staff if you delegate leadership experiences. You will still retain overall control because you will always retain accountability, so learn to trust your staff – they don’t have a choice with you.

Lean Tip #2852 – Encourage Creativity in Your Team

Look to your team for the solutions to problems rather than try and solve them for yourself. People like problem solving and will be motivated by you involving them. Creativity is in all of us. It just needs encouraging out. They will probably come up with better solutions than you could have anyway.

Lean Tip #2853 – Set Clear Standards and Then Model Them

Set clear standards and then model them – always. People respond positively to certainty as they generally don’t like surprises. Everyone needs to know what is expected of them and clear standards will help them understand that this is the way we are going to do things around here. It doesn’t have to be dictatorial either. Why not ask your team to put together their ideas on what the standards should be and then agree them with you. That way they have the ownership so you don’t need to motivate them to live by the standards.

Lean Tip #2854 – Don’t Try to be Someone You Are Not

The temptation is to emulate the previous manager. This is bad news as you are not the previous manager, you are you. Think about successful managers you have enjoyed working for and identify what it was they did that gave you that feeling. Also, think about managers you have not enjoyed working for and identify what it was they did that gave you that feeling. These two activities will give you a framework from which to start your career towards becoming a successful manager.

Lean Tip #2855 – Understand Your Role

To be an effective manager, you must understand your role and how it fits within the larger organization. If you’re a new manager or you've been in the position for a while and are focused on becoming a better manager, evaluate your strengths and which areas you should focus on improving.

Remember, managers also have supervisors. If you need to gain more understanding of the nature of your role and how to grow in it, you can turn to them for direction and support.

Regardless of how long you have been in a managerial position, continuing to learn, educate, refresh and hone your skills is an ongoing process. Take advantage of management training opportunities that provide comprehensive development skills in the areas of time management, planning and organization, employee management and leadership skills.

Lean Tip #2856 – Leaders are Consistent and Reliable

Employees need to know that their leader is stable, secure, and reliable. They will come to you for clarification regarding organizational objectives, views on their work, and advice. And more importantly, employees should feel comfortable approaching you when they are struggling and need help. Employees need to know that their manager is a level-headed person who won’t fly off the handle at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, they won’t feel able to open up to you and their trust in management will weaken.

Lean Tip #2857 – Leaders are Willing to Change

The world of work is constantly shifting. The ways we operate in terms of technology, motivating employees, and reviewing performance are processes constantly subject to change. From year to year, your business will look different — and this is a good thing. It means you’re staying relevant and competitive, which means you’ll be around for years to come.

Managers stuck in their ways stagnate, while good managers are adaptable and flexible. They are ready for change and they plan for it, seeing disruption as an exciting challenge rather than a burden.

Lean Tip #2858 – Leaders Admit Their Mistakes

Trying to appear perfect implies you expect perfection from your team, and nobody can live up to that.

Be honest and set an example.

Never pass the blame down the hierarchy to try to appear infallible – whether they’re brave enough to say it or not, your team will know if something was your fault.

Don’t lose their respect by shirking responsibility; show them how to own mistakes, learn from them and move forward.

Lean Tip #2859 – Be Open to New Ways of Looking at Things

The people that make the best of managers are flexible, adaptable and attached to the environment closely. They are good listeners and always on the lookout for opportunities.

The ideas that work best for process improvement are those which come from the employees who are closest to the work that is being done. Rigidity is the opponent of the progress and do not get stuck on doing the things the way they have been done always. Do not be afraid to shift the paradigm.

Lean Tip #2860 – Recognize a Good Job Done

If you wish to build a culture that is great and dynamic, it is important that the employees are given their due. It should be ingrained in the team culture and it takes time.

Recognition of work done good or good efforts undertakes fosters a sense of positivity, togetherness and gratitude amongst the employees. Not only big wins, even small efforts should be appreciated.

Lean Tip #2861 – Identify Your Training Strategy

Your approach to training must be aligned with the business, and this must be shared with your leadership team. Mutual buy-in must occur. If you are not informed on your company’s strategy, this is your starting place.

Tying a training program to a business objective, goal or challenge will identify you as a problem solver that can generate results. Make sure you develop goals and metrics for your training program before presenting it to leadership. Doing this work beforehand shows how serious you are about using training and development to impact the bottom line.

Lean Tip #2862 – Promote Collaboration Among Peers

Today, most strategies require heavy levels of cross-functional collaboration and teamwork to succeed. A recent survey from the AMA found that 97 percent of executives think that silos have a negative effect on organizational health, performance, and customer experience.

While organizational silos can foster powerful subject matter expertise and focus, executives who want to fuel high levels of company-wide growth complain that silos lack the necessary levels of transparency and permeability between functions to maximize synergies.

Whenever possible, encourage collaboration across functions.  Use whatever means work best at your organization to communicate what matters most – all day events, town halls, team meetings, webinars, videos, corporate newsletters, etc.

Lean Tip #2863 – Assume Resistance To Change

Employees don't fear change; they fear the unknown.

We are an adaptable species that doesn't like to change. Although we will change, given an appropriate amount of reasoning or adoption of the new thing by influencers. Resistance to change is a natural reaction. Change is uncomfortable and requires new ways of thinking and performing their job.

So, when starting to consider employee buy-in assume there will be some resistance to change and proactively identify major employee objections. Once you understand potential objections, you can find ways to acknowledge and overcome them.

Lean Tip #2864 – Ensure Your Team Has The 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 #2865 – Recognize and Reward the New Way

High performing companies effectively recognize and reward the behaviors and results that they seek to best execute their strategies. Effective reward and recognition components are also co-created with key stakeholders and are perceived as proportionate, fair, meaningful, relevant, and aligned.

If you want to encourage buy-in to your strategic direction, make sure that employees feel like it is worth the struggle to improve and change both their performance and their behaviors.

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