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Monday, December 20, 2021

Lean Tips Edition #181 (Tips #2926 - 2940)

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 #2926 – Celebrate Failures

A colleague of mine used to say, “problems are treasures.” That is the mentality you need to celebrate failures and red dots. They are treasures because they provide the opportunity to improve the standards and processes you have in place. When you seek perfection, no defect is acceptable.

When a problem occurs front line staff should not only be encouraged to bring it up, but they must be given an outlet to do so. Leaders must remember to not place blame but should foster a safe environment that encourages PDSA thinking.

Lean Tip #2927 - Share More, Not Less.

Even in a small company, silos emerge. A policy of more sharing will help everyone stay in touch with what others are doing, and create a collective expectation. Keeping everyone pointed in the same direction is hard; sharing more about what’s going on, how you’re doing things, reasoning behind decisions, etc. will help.

Lean Tip #2928 - Don’t Be Afraid to Ask “Why”

So many people are afraid of the question “why.” Does that sound like you? Stop being afraid, there is nothing wrong with asking why. By asking why you will be able to discover what the base of the task is that you want to accomplish will help you understand it better.

By understanding why something needs to be done, your chances of completing the task from start to finish will increase. Also, you should also consider the fact that by asking “why” and learning the reason behind it, you will be adding to your knowledge.

Lean Tip #2929 - Make Improvement Easy

If you want to build a strong continuous improvement culture, then it’s vital to make it easy for your employees. Turning actions into habits means they need to happen seamlessly and that requires the removal of any potential barriers. Lack of time and resources are two of the most frequent challenges so managers need to address them early on. Create a process that’s quick to follow by keeping it as simple as possible. Support employees with the tools they need to make suggestions, track the progress of ideas, and even execute improvement projects themselves. Using a software platform is an easy way to do this since it integrates the entire improvement process into one tool (along with management systems to track results). 

Lean Tip #2930 - Focus on Execution

Focusing on execution is one of the quickest ways to develop a culture of continuous improvement. Many companies get bogged down by processes and have long reviews which lead to bottlenecks and delays. This causes frustration for everyone involved and means that people lose faith in the concept. Organizations with a strong improvement culture do something different – they focus on execution. They take a lean management approach by simplifying processes and speeding up the workflow. Businesses like this are able to implement the vast majority of ideas which builds confidence in the philosophy until it eventually develops into a company-wide culture. Even bad ideas will usually highlight a good improvement opportunity so act on suggestions quickly to build momentum.

Lean Tip #2931 – Look Outward, Not Inward.

People are more likely to feel grateful when they put their focus on others, rather than getting caught up in their own inner narratives about how things should have gone. Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude, and people who have an outward focus tend to experience stronger benefits.

Lean Tip #2932 – Savor The Good Moments.

If you notice you’re feeling happy, stop what you’re doing and pay attention for a few minutes. Notice exactly how you feel, including the sensations in your body and the thoughts you’re having. Later, when you’re trying to inspire gratitude, you can remember this moment and experience the benefits all over again. 

Lean Tip #2933 – Celebrate The Small Wins.

It sounds simple, but celebrating small wins at work is a great way to practice gratitude. Celebrating small wins increases productivity by activating the reward portion of the brain. This leads to feelings of pride, happiness and accomplishment. It also makes us want to press on and achieve our next goal.

Celebrating small wins and activating the reward portion of your brain can be as easy as crossing something off your to do list. If you have a big project or assignment to work on, try breaking it down into smaller portions. As you complete each portion, celebrate the small win of getting one step closer to completing the bigger project.

Lean Tip #2934 – Notice More.

Taking some time to reflect on how you see the world and your place in it will give you the opportunity to see what you may not have noticed before. Unfortunately, we often don’t appreciate our blessings or opportunities until we no longer have them. Just taking time to notice what you have should improve your gratitude in the moment.

Lean Tip #2935 – Make Gratitude A Choice, Not A Reaction

Try not to wait for good things to happen to demonstrate your gratitude. Think of gratitude as your underlying foundation; operate from a place of being thankful, even without an outside prompt or motive.

When life doesn’t go quite the way we envisioned it, we can fall into a pattern of self-pity and lament. We begin to view our circumstances as a curse or a trap, rather than remembering the many things around us that we can be grateful for. Shift your focus to the hidden opportunity in every situation you perceive to be negative.

Lean Tip #2936 – Encourage Creativity

Intellectual stimulation is one of the leadership qualities that define transformational leadership. Followers need to be encouraged to express their creativity. Effective leaders should offer new challenges with ample support to achieve these goals.

One way to foster creativity is to offer challenges to group members, making sure that the goals are within the grasp of their abilities. The purpose of this type of exercise is to get people to stretch their limits but not become discouraged by barriers to success.

Lean Tip #2937 – Encourage People to Make Contributions

Let the members of your team know that you welcome their ideas. Leaders who encourage involvement from group members are often referred to as democratic or participative leaders. While they retain the final say over all decisions, they encourage team members to take an active role in coming up with ideas and plans.

Lean Tip #2938 – Keep Trying New Things

Who says leadership is a one-way relationship? As you work toward developing some of these leadership qualities, don't forget to look to your followers for feedback and inspiration. Pay attention to the things that have been effective in the past and always be on the lookout for new ways to inspire, motivate, and reward group members.

Lean Tip #2939 – Have a Positive Attitude

Transformational leaders have an upbeat, optimistic attitude that serves as a source of inspiration for followers. If leaders seem discouraged or apathetic, members of the group are likely to also become uninspired.

Even when things look bleak and your followers start to feel disheartened, try to stay positive. This does not mean viewing things through rose-colored glasses. It simply means maintaining a sense of optimism and hope in the face of challenges.

Lean Tip #2940 – Serve as a Role Model

Transformational leaders exemplify the behaviors and characteristics that they encourage in their followers. They walk the walk and talk the talk. As a result, group members admire these leaders and work to emulate these behaviors.

Research suggests that leaders are able to foster a specific belief and then transmit that inspiration to their followers.

 As a result, followers are optimistic and have high standards for performance and achievement.

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