The long fought debate around the EU referendum, a pivotal point in British history, has been fought with debate, insults and at time factual discussion. The question not asked enough in many companies however, is are you ‘in’ or ‘out’ of continuous improvement (CI).
Within the camp of organisations declaring to be ‘doing improvement’, or being a ‘lean company’, there are those scratching the surface of CI, possibly for customer accreditation reasons, or because they just don’t know what they don’t know. There is another party however, who have invested effort to nurture improvement as a way of life across the whole organisation. These are definitely the ‘in’ party.
Unlike the referendum, the question of what ‘in’ or ‘out’ looks like is fortunately answerable for improvement as many blue chip and SMEs have demonstrated the benefits of committing to ‘in’. Even though an SME may not achieve the $2.5bn annual savings declared in GE or the $15bn over 11years by Motorola, the benefits are equally significant and proportional to your size and strategic goals.
‘Inners’ define themselves as different by deploying CI based on these 3 building blocks. It’s not rocket science, but more a question of how it is deployed.
Methods are the tools and techniques of lean and six-sigma which most people identify with being the popular subject of CI training courses. Framework is about providing the right structure to support correct improvement selection and guiding it through to a sustainable implementation.
The third element is behaviours. Leadership behaviours to ensure breakthrough improvement are at the heart of how strategic goals are achieved and benefits delivered. These behaviours are specific to improvement and are demonstrated in many of the successful companies.
The right balance of all 3 fundamental building blocks ensures structure, organisational capability and mindset. Imbalance in any element will manifest as symptoms where improvement may be misfocused, slow, without strategic impact or simply ineffective.
Review the 2 minute health check sheet on www.newpotentialcbs.com and ask yourself if your commitment defines you as being with the ‘in or out of CI’ camp. If ‘out’, consider the benefits of trading sides to develop the continuous improvement organisation you always wanted to be.
By Gavin Jones – New Potential
Signpost Image by Presenter Media