Continuous Improvement - 3 techniques you need to try ASAP

Eugene LaiWed, 08/07/2019 - 17:26

Continuous Improvement - 3 techniques you need to try ASAP

Do you ever wonder if it’s possible for your organization to become a “learning organization”? By “learning”, what I’m referring to is to have people, processes, and/or tools that enable the organization to constantly improve on how it does work and delivers value to the customer.

Does this sound like too much work? It may feel daunting to try to change an organization so that it can learn from successes and failures and adapt, but you could also look at this in another way – What happens if your organization does NOT change or improve? Will it continue to exist in a few years? Will your competitors remain satisfied with the status quo? The answer is an obvious one – heck no!

The world continues to change at a pace that we have never experienced in recent decades, largely due to advancements in technology. This means that it is increasingly more important for business organizations to adjust to the changing conditions and find ways to thrive.

If all this kind of makes sense, and if your current organization does not have a continuous improvement mindset, it’s not too late to start. Here are few tips to help you get started on the right path.

Technique 1 – Regularly evaluate how things are done

In order to make improvements, you must first understand what is working and what is not working. This requires a bit of courage to look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge shortcomings and failures. You need to assess your people, processes, and tools frequently, not just once a year, so that you can make adjustments as needed.

Technique 2 – Commit to changing something meaningful

It’s easy to pick the lowest hanging fruit, fix that problem, and claim success. However, that may not make a meaningful difference to your organization. Be sure to pick a problem that really matters before trying to solve it.

Technique 3 – Engage your people

More often than not, those folks working in the “front lines” have great ideas on how to make things better, but lack the avenue (or the confidence) to share those ideas. If you want to truly build a culture of continuous innovation, you must have people who feel safe speaking up, which often feels risky. Support new ideas and reward great ideas that truly make a difference.

Developing the infrastructure that cultivates a continuous learning mindset will take patience and courage, but it is absolutely worthwhile, especially if you exceed your own expectations!