Does every team in your organisation have a consistent structured approach to continually driving improvement? Are they motivated by the satisfaction of making their work work better
In these challenging times organisations are understandably focused on change, but change does not always result in improvement. We have yet to see a business plan for a change that says performance will stay the same or get worse, yet this is the reality of many changes. Successful organisations need to be good at both incremental improvement delivered by natural work teams, and step-change improvement delivered by project teams. We believe that largely the same problems and principles apply to both. You have limited resources to invest in improvement, you need to ensure that the right areas are prioritised, the opportunities are well defined, the solutions are well designed and evaluated, and the interventions well executed.
Why improvement efforts fail
The road to improvement is fraught with pit falls: are you resourcing projects that will have greatest impact, or the ones favoured by the strongest characters of your leadership team? Are you addressing root causes or symptoms; the problem that presents itself is rarely the one that needs fixing. We never have all the data we would like, opinion and anecdote tend to creep in their absence. There is often too much faith and not enough science in predicting our outcomes; similarly unintended consequences are often overlooked. Teams lack understanding of improvement good practice. Good intentions get knocked off track by new and pressing priorities. Estimates of how long things will take inevitably turn out to be optimistic. Often what seems to have served manufacturing well fails in the service context. Service is fundamentally different to manufacturing; variety of demand is vast, the customer is always involved in production and service capacity cannot be stored or inventoried. Unless improvement approaches recognise and accommodate these key differences (most don’t as they are little changed from their manufacturing heritage) sadly your efforts are not likely to succeed.
Successful improvements engender intrinsic motivation, initiating a virtuous cycle
We listen and through our responses we bring clarity; a straightforward and logical approach tailored to your context. Our interventions serve three purposes: i) we will help you define your improvement route map (both incremental and step–change), ii) we support you in delivering it and iii) in so doing transfer knowledge to your people such that they are sufficiently confident in the method to be self sufficient. The outcome is not only much improved certainty of benefits delivery, but vastly improved engagement of your people. This results from creating an environment where they have the knowledge, skill and mandate to improve their work as opposed to just do their work. How much latent energy is there in your organisation? We’d love to help you find it…
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