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Friday, April 28, 2023

Lean Quote: Instill Confidence Among Employees

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel.  If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.  —  Sam Walton

All people have a need for confidence and a positive self-image. How individuals respond to problems almost always reflects their feelings about themselves at that time or their general perception of self. Research indicates that two-thirds of the population suffers from generalized low self-esteem. They have negative feelings about aspects of themselves or attributes they possess. This focus on one’s deficiencies makes it difficult to feel energetic, to be motivated, or to make positive changes.

It has been said that Henry Ford had tremendous self-belief and he constantly preached on it. He would hire workers that didn’t understand the meaning of impossible and would keep pushing the limits of their imagination. This was the ingenuity behind his continuous improvement.

A great leader can easily instill confidence among the staff. In order to maintain the positive work atmosphere which inspires creative thinking and new ideas, staff members have to feel confident about their work. A leader that simply nitpicks about everything and demonstrates extremely negative reactions for every mistake made will eventually ruin the positive energy in the work environment and ruin the self-confidence of the majority of staff members. A great and effective leader can inspire staff members to improve their performance and productivity by actively working on their confidence improvements. Publicly acknowledging those who perform well in certain areas can significantly contribute to this cause.

Your self-belief as a leader is infectious. What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your ability? What is possible and what is impossible? Your willingness to try the impossible will inspire your team push the limits as well.

Although important, managers and supervisors must do more than give praise and provide meaningful work. To empower employees, supervisors must continually build employee self-esteem. 

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Lean Roundup #167 – April, 2023

A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of April 2023.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.  


Toyota Kata: Coaching vs a Report Out – Mark Rosenthal asks as a coach if you are challenging the learner.


On Big Data – Pascal Dennis says before we grasp at the straws of Big Data, let’s build our management systems so we can understand our ‘small data’ – like the world’s best organizations do.


On the Team Structure at Toyota – Christoph Roser talks about the importance of team size and structure.


What kind of bureaucrat are you? - Michael Ballé and Klaus Beulker explore the essence of bureaucracy and explain why, with Lean Thinking, it can be leveraged as a force for good.


Tiered Huddles: Structured Communication in Healthcare – Maggie Millard discusses tiered huddles provides a structure for robust collaboration and cross-discipline communication.


Making the Problem go Away Is NOT Improvement - Christoph Roser explains why taking care of the problem (hopefully) makes the problem go away but actual kaizen ensures that the problem should not come back.


What Will Be the New Social Contract for the 21st Century? – Jeffrey Liker say the current volatility in tech employment portends a shift from the sector’s earlier people-centered visions — and that’s concerning.


It Starts With BELIEVE - Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement – Mark Graban talks about how Ted Lasso inspires them to BELIEVE in continuous improvement.


Why ‘Framing’ is Crucial to Leadership and Encouraging Team Unity - Michael BallĂ© and Nicolas Chartier explores the fundamental thinking that drives how leaders lead — and explains why the Toyota Production System, aka lean management, is the most effective management framework.


How Continuous Improvement Influences Sustainability Efforts - Emily Kauten says continuous improvement offers a powerful framework for addressing environmental sustainability.



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Monday, April 24, 2023

Remote Leadership and the Employee Experience

Image Source: Pexels.com

When businesses were forced into remote work a few years ago due to the pandemic, many were just focused on making their operations work in a digital environment. They were hardly focused on revamping their company cultures to support such a transition.

But now, we’re seeing remote work become a staple in the workforce. As more and more employees seek it, establishing an intentional remote work culture is critical if you want to offer this option in your company. 

Before we cover ways leaders can create a remote work culture that supports a positive employee experience, let’s dig into why the employee experience is critical for remote work.

Why the Employee Experience Is So Important for Remote Work

Remote teams offer so much to any business. For example, the flexibility of remote work inspires employee productivity and engagement. Businesses can save money on overhead costs. In addition, remote work gives employers access to a global talent pool. 

If you want to reap these and the many other benefits that come with having remote workers,  you must create a workplace environment that supports them unequivocally. And if you think your employees should be grateful to you for simply providing the opportunity and no other provisions, you might be wrong. Some may even be lonely and struggling with their mental health.

Recent research from Zippia on remote work revealed that 50% of the remote workers surveyed reported feelings of loneliness at least once a week. In addition, 19% cited isolation as their number one issue with remote work, and 70% said they felt left out of the workplace.

Feeling isolated, lonely, and left out doesn’t equate to a highly engaged, happy employee. That’s why it’s so important to address any challenges you’re having with creating the proper culture for remote work.

A supportive, positive remote work culture is what sets the tone for a good employee experience.

In addition, the employee experience is directly tied to the experience your customers will have. When your remote employees feel wholly supported and prepared to do their jobs well, they're more enthusiastic and productive in their roles — which translates into communicating with and serving customers well.

Ultimately, you must embrace your remote work culture to ensure your work-from-home employees are at their best.

How Leaders Can Improve the Remote Employee Experience

Your remote team deserves just as good of an employee experience as your in-office workers. Aside from that, the business and team benefits mentioned above should entice you to provide the culture they need to thrive.

Here are three ways you can improve the employee experience for your remote team.

Mirror the in-office employee onboarding experience

Think about the typical onboarding experience for in-office employees. You show them to their desk and introduce them to the team. They fill out HR paperwork and go over their roles and responsibilities. They also get to explore the office and settle into the culture.

New remote workers hardly get the same onboarding experience. A Zoom meeting to introduce them to everyone on the team. After that, a quick overview of the tech tools and software they’ll be using. And finally, a summary of the work they can get started on.

If you want to build a strong remote company culture, focus on providing a meaningful onboarding experience for new employees. It should mirror the in-office employee onboarding experience in that new workers get a virtual tour of the office and a memorable welcome from the team.

Set aside time for them to video chat with HR to ensure all necessary paperwork is complete. They can also get lingering employee-experience questions answered.

Lastly, set aside time to thoroughly cover:

       The tech tools they’ll use;

       How to contact the team;

       Their role and daily responsibilities;

       The details of their first few projects;

       Upcoming events and projects that will facilitate them getting to know their coworkers.

You may have to extend the onboarding experience for a few weeks to ensure there’s enough time to get everything done.

Pair remote workers with in-office team members

As mentioned above, many workers feel lonely and left out of the workplace when they work from home. This affects their attitude and the quality of the work they produce. It also affects their ability to form meaningful relationships with coworkers and managers.

Pairing remote workers with in-office team members could be a solution to this. Having that ally in the office can help remote employees feel more connected to in-office co-workers. It can bridge that gap to feel like an integral part of the team.

Assign an in-office team member to every remote worker. Be intentional about who’s paired up with who. Account for personalities, skillsets, experiences, similarities, and differences that can drive a good connection.

Make the introduction the first day a remote worker joins your team and stay on top of how the relationship blossoms.

Connect with remote workers daily

Being the leader of your team includes the responsibility of nurturing a genuine relationship with each of your employees. It’s easier to do this in an in-office setting because you have more opportunities to interact with the employees there.

You don’t have as many organic opportunities to engage with remote workers. If you don’t make the effort to connect with them regularly, it could result in them feeling unsupported and unappreciated.

Set a goal of connecting with remote workers daily. This could be a quick one-on-one video meeting every morning to check in and establish expectations for the day. It could be recognizing them for their work on a project. It could be an email or instant message exchange.

However you do it, let them know you’re there to support them every day.

You shoulder much of the responsibility for the kind of experience your remote workers have at your company. Establish a welcoming, supportive company culture to set the foundation for a positive remote employee experience they’ll want to stick around for.

About the Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and business topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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Friday, April 21, 2023

Lean Quote: Effective Leadership Includes Being Resilient

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.  —  Steve Maraboli

Life is difficult, which means work is challenging. You can accept this or get aggravated, but you cannot change it. Every manager experiences stress and adversity, but must be able to bounce back in order to meet new challenges.

Resilience is the human capacity to meet adversity, setbacks and trauma, and then recover from them in order to live life fully. Resilient leaders have the ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with disruptive changes and adapt. They bounce back from setbacks.

Glenn Sanford, CEO SUCCESS Enterprises shares eight guiding principles for leading through challenging times. (excerpts from SUCCESS – September/October 2022).

1. Play to Win – Set a clear vision and mission with defined goals for your team to rally around together. (We’re pretty sure you’ve heard this before!)

2. Be Continually Learning – The best practices that worked a couple of years ago are probably irrelevant today . . . find new and innovative ways to succeed.

3. Break What Isn’t Broken – A comfortable business is one that will get left behind. Encourage your team to challenge, question, and scrutinize everything.

4. Don’t Under-Estimate Your Competition – Keeping your competitive advantage means iterating your product or service before the market requires it.

5. Know When You Have An Advantage and Double Down – Identify what makes your company unique and capitalize on it.

6. Balance Operating Expenses With Growth – Keep your costs low and your focus sharp.

7. Be Agile To Adapt – Leaders should create room for key team members to move in and innovate (and stay out of the way!).

8. Embrace Chaos To Drive Change – Get comfortable with chaos; it’s a byproduct of fast growing organizations.

Team resilience is crucial for high performance, but it's largely dependent on leadership resilience. Leadership resilience isn’t about toughing up. It’s the ability to recover from setbacks. To adapt to change. To keep forging ahead even in the face of adversity. It’s about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, while still being able to lead others with empathy, courage and conviction.  

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Problem Solving

Every day we face challenges and problems in life, both big and small, and so it’s very important to be good at tackling them. However, that can be easier said than done, and if we make one of these mistakes when trying to solve a problem, we might make the situation worse instead.

Finding the best solutions to problems is a necessary skill for navigating the changes that are continuously affecting our company. Organization that take a proactive and structured approach to problem solving position themselves to overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. This approach comes from making a concerted effort to avoid the following six common problem-solving mistakes.

Mistake 1: Not Involving the Right People

When the right people are excluded from the problem-solving process, the proposed solutions can be one-sided or limited. Different perspectives help to better understand the problem at hand. Resist the trap of allowing busy schedules and a desire for quick resolution to allow people to be excluded. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be involved. Progress may be slower when too many people participate. The most effective problem solving teams include representatives from various levels in the firm who share their perspective and insights.

Mistake 2: Lack of Alignment

Certain people may agree that a problem exists, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has the same problem in mind. People often have different expectations, opinions on issues and goals, and potential solutions. Effective problem solving requires getting everyone on the same page. When this doesn’t happen, there is a risk of running in different directions – this means that everyone may cross a finish line, but no one wins the race. Take the time to define and document issues and get alignment before attempting to solve a problem. The result will be better solutions.

Mistake 3: Looking for Blame Instead of Prevention

People don’t wake up intending to create problems during their work day. Errors do occur at work, but the overwhelming majority is unintentional. “Blame” is sometimes confused with “accountability,” and accountability within an organization has come to refer to disciplinary action. Accountability actually means taking responsibility for actions and instigating specific steps so the problem is less likely to occur again—and it does not require punishment. The blame-and-punish approach teaches others in an organization that, if they make a mistake, they should make sure no one finds out.

Mistake 4: Lack of Clarity

Many times, a problem solving team is assembled and they immediately discuss possible causes or solutions. Team members may have different information or a different understanding of the problem. Discussions are confusing, disjointed and inefficient. We do not have a common purpose. Rushing into analysis with a vague problem statement is a clear formula for long hours and frustrated customers.

Create a clear problem statement devoid of an unnecessary or distracting description. A clear problem statement contains an OBJECT (the thing which has the problem) and the DEFECT (undesirable condition or defect). The famous inventor, Charles Kettering, stated, “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” Once we have this statement, we can start asking “why” questions to dig deeper into the causes, and all team members have a common focus and understanding.

Mistake 5: Assuming There is A Singular Cause

Most incorrectly believe that root-cause analysis ultimately finds one cause. When asked to define a root cause, they typically say, “It’s the one thing that caused the problem to happen.” A longer explanation might go as follows: “Root cause is the fundamental cause that, if removed or controlled, prevents the problem from occurring.” More significant than just a “cause,” they say, the root cause, if eliminated, prevents the problem from occurring. This seems reasonable, but in reality it’s just not accurate.

Mistake 6: Lack of a Problem Solving Method

Rather frequently, companies – notably management – demand swift action when facing a problem. Well, there is nothing wrong with a bias for action but what often results is “cutting corners” in the rank and file. Finding the best solutions starts with having a structured approach to problem solving.

Root cause analysis is a fact-based methodology. Many of the problem solving tools are similar. 5Whys, Ishikawa Fish-bones, 8Ds for automotive, A3 for Lean, PDCA, DMAIC for Six sigma….All “logically” based fact systems and follow how the basic "instinctive" brain works, you set a goal, brain storm ideas, evaluate it, you do it, and see whether it works. The difference is the level of complexity. This is why PDCA is a cycle, in every turn you can understand different parts of the problem. The more complicated the problem or the improvement, the more you need to repeat the cycle.

Of all things needed to foster a problem solving culture, training is the most important, allowing and expecting associates to be systematic. Socratic questioning works best! The reason is simple: the problem is usually smarter than us and will always win over shortcuts.

Effective problem solving doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time, commitment and a methodical approach. Businesses can fall into these pitfalls with problem solving if they fail to give the issue at hand the correct level of priority and importance. Remember, for every month this problem continues, your business could be losing out!

People love to solve problems. However, people will avoid problem solving situations when they are unsure of how to approach the issue. If we keep in mind the practical rules of problem solving, we shouldn’t shy away from any business puzzle.

Just don’t put the cart before the horse.

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Monday, April 17, 2023

Lean Tips Edition #202 (#3241 - #3255)

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 #3241 – Make Sure Your Goals are Measurable Before You Develop Performance Measures.

Have you noticed that most KPI conversation start with someone asking a question like this: “So, what could we measure?” Wrong question. It leads us down a rabbit-hole as we rush to quick-fix KPIs. We end up creating the wrong KPIs for the goals we have. Or we end up with very trivial measures that don’t help us make better decisions.

Meaningful performance measures start with measurable goals. This means that your goal needs to be worded clearly enough and specifically enough that you can imagine how you’ll recognize when it becomes real. So you might first want to check if your current goals are measurable.

Lean Tip #3242 – Build Buy-in Among the People Who You Need to Support the KPIs.

You know what happens to KPIs that are developed by very small teams or consultants, in private meetings and with no documentation of the rationale for choosing them? They get ignored. No-one will buy in to something they don’t understand, weren’t involved with, and see no relevance in. And don’t think that asking people for their sign-off will work either. KPIs work with buy-in, not sign-off.

You only have meaningful KPIs and measures when they are brought to life and used to improve performance. But they won’t be brought to life if the people who collect the data, analysis the data, report the measures and use the measures don’t buy in. Here are three powerful tactics to make sure you build the buy-in from the start:

·        Use a Measures Team that includes the people who know the process or function, the data, the customers and the current problems of the area you want to measure.

·        Document your thinking as you design the KPIs, so others can understand and critique it.

·        Create an open space for people to see, explore, discuss and give feedback on the draft KPI work.

Lean Tip #3243 – Define the Questions you Need Answers To

Linking your KPIs to your strategy will immediately sharpen your focus and make the relevant KPIs more obvious. Identifying the questions you need answers to will further narrow your focus, because questions give the indicators context.

That’s why, as well as KPIs, I always advise companies to think about KPQs: Key Performance Questions. These will help you work out what data you need to gather, and, therefore, which KPIs you’ll find most useful. For example, if you plan on executing a simple strategy to increase your income by focusing on the most profitable areas of your business, you could ask “Where are we making profit and which processes are most costly compared to the returns we receive?”

Once you are clear on the questions you need to answer, you can make sure that every indicator you subsequently choose or design is relevant not only to your strategy, but also provides the answers to very specific questions that will guide your strategy and inform your decision making.

Lean Tip #3244 – Determine the Right Measurement Methodology and Frequency

Knowing what you need is one thing, working out how to access and measure that information is another. Finding the right measurement methodology is critical. Therefore, once you know what information you need to collect, you need to find the right measurement methodology to get it. This is especially true if you have to develop new KPIs or tweak existing ones.

It’s always preferable to align measurement frequency with how and when the data is used in the organization, because all data has a “shelf life”. This means measurement frequency must be in line with the reporting frequency. If it’s not, the data may lose impact and/or relevance. For example, if you collect customer satisfaction data via survey in the summer and report on the findings in the winter, then the findings are already six months out of date.

Lean Tip #3245 – Assign Ownership for Your KPIs

Effective KPIs require two types of ownership. The first is the ownership of the KPI in terms of its meaning and interpretation. Someone needs to be in charge of looking at the KPI, interpreting its meaning, monitoring how it’s changing and deciding what that means for the business.

The other ownership refers to the data collection. Sometimes you can automate the process but, more often than not, data collection will require some human interaction. Perhaps certain personnel are involved in transferring data from one database to another, or they have to collect it manually. Again, this ownership needs to be clearly set out and followed through.

Lean Tip #3246 – Ensure KPIs are Understood by People Within Your Organization

It’s essential that everyone in your business is aware of what you’re trying to achieve, and how you’re measuring progress towards those achievements. This is especially important for those who are charged with ownership of the KPIs, but it’s also important for people right across the business, at any level. KPIs should form part of the decision-making process for every employee, and everyone should be able to answer the question, “How will what I am doing today affect our KPIs?”

You therefore need to ensure everybody understands how the metrics you are gathering are linked to your strategic priorities. This will increase “buy in” – how personally involved and enthusiastic your staff feel about your priorities – and ensure that constant review and improvement are at the heart of everything your people do. If you simply tell everyone that they have to collect a whole heap of extra data from now on without explaining why, you are likely to end up with a very cynical and disengaged workforce!

Lean Tip #3247 – Find the Best Way to Communicate Your KPIs

It’s always wise to think about how best to communicate your KPIs so their insights are obvious, engaging and apparent to all. So many KPIs are reported in long reports full of numbers or tables, perhaps with a traffic light graphic to indicate urgency. This is not good enough. There is absolutely no point hiding important insights in excessively long reports that no one ever reads.

Really effective visualizations clearly illustrate trends and variations in data, and engage the reader. Try to find the right picture for your KPIs and create an explanation of the insights so that the nuggets of wisdom extracted from the data are clear, unambiguous, accessible and, most importantly, actionable.

Lean Tip #3248 – Describe the Intended Results

Once you’ve identified your primary goals, you’ll need to figure out what success looks like. For example, let’s say you want to increase profit by X%. In this case, it’s a good idea to look at the end goal and work backward.

Ask yourself: what steps are necessary to achieve this goal? Who will perform these tasks? Do you have enough staffing and resources to support these tasks? The answers to these questions will help you identify the concrete steps to achieve your goals—this, in turn, informs which key performance indicators you’ll focus on.

Lean Tip #3249 – Do Not Set the Goal Too High. It is More Motivating to Over-Perform Than Struggle.

In my experience, managers will often make the mistake of believing that ambitious goals will, in them self, motivate and encourage the team to work hard. But the goal for the KPI's should be realistic, since it is much more motivating working towards goal that you actually can achieve, rather than struggle trying to reach an unrealistic goal.

What then defines a realistic goal? It's difficult to generalize but looking at historical data and comparing it to other factors like budget/time/resources etc. will hopefully enable you to determine if the goal is realistic or not.

Lean Tip #3250 – Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted, And Not Everything That Can Be Counted Counts.

William Bruce Cameron (or was it Albert Einstein?) said this famous quote many years ago, but it is still relevant today. Not everything can be easily tracked, but it doesn't mean that it is less important. A concept like Brand Perception is difficult to measure in quantitative tests, but it might still be very relevant for your business. You might not be able to set up a dashboard which is automatically updated with the Brand Perception every hour, but it might still be worth investigating through surveys/interviews?

Also remember that KPI's are not a business goal in themselves - they simply represent them. So if you know that an activity works and has a positive impact on the organization, but you have a hard time measuring the effect, you should of course still do it - but simply recognize that not everything that matters for your business can be measured or defined as a KPI.

Lean Tip #3251 – Foster a Creative Environment.

Allow team members to brainstorm in an open, non-judgmental framework that embraces the team’s purpose and direction. Employees need to feel secure enough to take risks, both individually and as a team, and to be willing to suggest daring ideas. After all, creativity is just as important as innovation, and both are essential to the longevity of a business.

Lean Tip #3252 – Build Team Cohesion.

Create a means of communication that allows for easy workflow, establishes a distinct set of priorities, and makes all colleagues feel included. Solicit feedback from staff members and listen to employee input to make them feel heard. Ensure everyone is operating from the same playbook so team members can focus and flourish.

Highlight the different ways employees contribute to the business and build teams around common impacts. Forming smaller teams can help group and guide employees at a more manageable size, fostering productivity and accountability. This also gives employees the chance to develop stronger professional relationships, as workers will want to know they can depend on each other to achieve their goals.

Lean Tip #3253 – Learn Visualize Ideas.

Give team members the opportunity to use visuals to share and clarify their ideas at the simplest level. You can do this with anything from rough sketches to full-scale presentations. Most people learn better and retain more information when it’s presented visually, and a collaborative whiteboard, whether physical or virtual, is a great tool.

One benefit of transforming ideas from spoken concepts to visual aids is it can help people digest information easier. It’s one thing to rattle off numbers or statistics, but a visual representation can further everyone’s understanding and comprehension.

Lean Tip #3254 – Empower Your Employees

Delegating power to your employees can help improve teamwork, increase its effectiveness, as well as improve morale and productivity. As an employer, empower your workers with the ability to make decisions which will essentially boost their confidence, give them autonomy, and reinforce their roles and responsibilities within the organization and their respective teams.

Empowered employees are more likely to work collectively as a whole-team when given the opportunity to communicate their versions of a goal, as this allows them to feel heard and work towards a shared objective as a team. Effective delegation of decision-making is important to facilitate teamwork- rather than fixating on a person’s working ability, one should help them share work responsible for team tasks.

Lean Tip #3255 – Clearly Define Roles and Rewards for Each Team Member

Rewarding team members for meeting early goals and/or making significant progress helps your team members stay motivated and on track for the project's completion. Employee recognition can also help your fellow team members remember the importance of their role in the project and increase morale.

Both team leaders and individual contributors can give positive feedback by noting exceptional work or praising a valuable idea. Recognizing your coworkers as you work toward a common goal can help motivate the entire team.

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Friday, April 14, 2023

Lean Quote: Don’t Water Your Weeds

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Don’t water your weeds.  —  Harvey Mackay

The need for a business to address issues at the core and avoid skirting around them – for whatever reason this may be – is paramount.  Issues left to fester will become major problems before long and as highlighted, avoidable issues can be quashed before they have an effect, if tackled at source.

Along with tackling problems comes the need for change. Change is inevitable, and firstly acknowledging that it is required, and then acting upon this requirement can often be ignored.  The current situation or way of doing things can be ‘the norm’ – whether they represent good working practices or not – and so things can be left as-is to avoid change.

Change should be embraced and acted upon without prejudice. To enable this to be the case, the use of change control should be considered.  Control measures such as non-conformance reporting are often taken as an attack on an individual’s ability or way of working.  In order to embrace change, we all need to accept that nothing is ever perfect and that change, and indeed continuous improvement, can only be achieved through accepting that this is the reality.  This type of change control should be implemented with a view to identifying issues around working practice, procedures and processes, and not necessarily the individual involved in the activities.

Continuous Improvement should be exactly that – continuous.  This can only be achieved through identifying issues and problems, seeking solutions to these, and implementing them through accepting and acknowledging that they are necessary.

Identify the issue.  Seek the solution.  Implement the change.

Don’t just ‘water the weeds’, deal with the problem.

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