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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Lean Tips Edition #182 (#2941-#2955)

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 #2941 - Focus on One Goal at a Time

Achieving even one small goal can boost your belief in yourself. For larger goals, consider breaking them apart into manageable chunks to work on one at a time. The American Psychological Association (APA) also suggests focusing on just one behavior at a time is more likely to lead to long-term success.

Taking on too much all at once can be daunting. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and sustained effort. Focusing yourself on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.

Lean Tip #2942 - Make a Detailed Plan

Creating a detailed written plan can help you stick to your goal. Why is this stage so critical for success? For one thing, it allows you to consider what tactics you will use when you're faced with challenges. When things get difficult, what strategies will you use to stay on the path toward making your resolution a reality?

If you start working toward a goal without any type of plan in place, you may quickly find yourself giving up when faced with any sort of obstacle, setback, or resistance.

Lean Tip #2943 - Start With Small Steps

Taking on too much too quickly is a common reason why so many New Year's resolutions fail. Starting an unsustainably restrictive diet, overdoing it at the gym, or radically altering your normal behavior are surefire ways to derail your plans. Instead, focus on taking tiny steps that will ultimately help you reach your larger goal.

While it may seem like a slow start, these small incremental changes make it easier to stick to your new healthy habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success.

Lean Tip #2944 - Remember That Change Is a Process

Those unhealthy or undesired habits that you are trying to change probably took years to develop, so how can you expect to change them in just a matter of days, weeks, or months? Be patient with yourself. Understand that working toward your resolution is a process. Even if you make a misstep or two, you can restart and continue on your journey towards your goal.

It may take longer than you would like to achieve your goals, but remember that this is not a race to the finish. Once you have made the commitment to changing a behavior, it may be something that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.

Lean Tip #2945 - Learn and Adapt

Encountering a setback is one of the most common reasons why people give up on their New Year's resolutions. If you suddenly relapse into a bad habit, don't view it as a failure. The path toward your goal is not always a straight one, and there will often be challenges along the way.7 Instead, view relapses as learning opportunities.

If you are keeping a resolution journal, write down important information about when the relapse occurred, what might have triggered it, and what you might do differently next time. By understanding the challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.

Lean Tip #2946 – Optimize Everyday Operations

Many companies are never able to grow because they spend all of their energy fixing broken processes. While addressing bottlenecks and other problems is an important part of process improvement, a more productive approach is to evaluate procedures that are not broken. Sometimes this can be achieved by making an adjustment that is as small as a minor tweak to the order entry process.

Lean Tip #2947 – Tie Process Improvement to Key Objectives

Your employees need to see the connection between their efforts to improve processes and your company’s mission. By linking process improvement strategies to organizational goals, you will be more apt to earn the support of employees across the board.

Lean Tip #2948 – Focus on Long-Term Success

The most successful process improvement initiatives value future solutions over short-term fixes. You should expect to encounter obstacles as you focus on process improvement and strive to maintain a positive attitude towards process improvement.  Success requires patience and a long-term commitment to documenting strategies and outcomes from start to finish. This allows you to review your execution in detail to determine when and where a process faltered.

Lean Tip #2949 – Prioritize the Customer

Any process creating pain for your customers must be addressed first. When outlining a solution, think about how the changes will improve the customer experience. To identify these factors, perform customer interviews, and dig into your company’s customer data such as analyzing how often clients perform subsequent purchases and customer churn rate.

Incorporate and prioritize the needs of your customers as part of any process improvement project. From deciding which procedure to improve first to the solution itself, consider the impact to your customers.

Lean Tip #2950 – Make Improvement a Team Sport

The most successful process improvement efforts are built on collaboration. Involve your whole organization in capturing processes, reviewing existing ones and constantly finding ways to improve the way they work. Part of the process champion’s job is to make sure everyone feels heard.

Involve people in setting targets, and constantly evaluate your progress against those. Appreciation motivates and inspires, so share the results in public forums like team meetings and company-wide intranet announcements.

Lean Tip #2951 – Motivate the People and Stay Resilient

Leaders must motivate the individuals around them. Even during rough days or weeks, they must stay focused and positive. A leader that exhibits resiliency and a sense of purpose will impact the teams’ spirit and work ethic. This effectively sets the example that even through difficult times, you can successfully navigate the situation without having the issues affect your work or attitude.

Lean Tip #2952 – Take the Blame and Work Through It Together

One of the biggest things to remember is that as a leader it all starts with you and all stops with you. It doesn’t matter who made the mistake on the team—it should be seen as a collective mistake that the team works through together. Leaders should be the problem fixers and show their team that they are not on a lone island and there is someone to support them. This method of problem solving also provides training opportunities, allowing the leader to expand on best practices and tips so that the same mistake can be avoided in the future.

Lean Tip #2953 – Focus on Small Wins Daily

Servant leadership is a mentality. It’s like having a kind of tunnel vision and being able to navigate through the noise and fire throughout the day. One way to do this is by taking the time to focus on the small tasks at hand. Write down daily goals, and when you accomplish an item, scratch it off. This will make you feel successful and help you realize that each small achievement is going to benefit someone, whether that is a team member, partner, or fellow manager. Everything a leader does set an example for the team and provides an opportunity to better support them. Having daily goals is about small wins to keep you motivated.

Lean Tip #2954 – Be Able to Conceptualize.

Servant leaders are big-picture thinkers. They inspire their team to think beyond the day-to-day grind, beyond the immediate issues in front of them. Traditional leaders are fixated on short-term or immediate goals. Servant leaders look beyond numbers and goal posts, thinking of what their team needs to do to accomplish everything, not just the one thing in front of them. They help their team get the training and tools they’ll need not just for today, but for next year and on. 

Lean Tip #2955 – Commit to Building Up People.

Servant leaders understand their most important resource and concern is people. They are committed to the growth and well-being of their team, thinking first of them instead of themselves. This means that training opportunities, promotions, growth—these are given to the team instead of to self. As a servant leader, there is no fear that the people on your team will surpass you. You aren’t trying to protect your own place in the world. You aren’t keeping the best opportunities for yourself.

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