CI Tools

Do you really want to go back to normal? Business as usual, will not going to cut it anymore.

These days you can hear the phrase when we go back to normal, dozens of times a day.  We all want to return to our normal lives, right?

As a lean practitioner, I believe that each event is a learning opportunity, the coronavirus pandemic is no different.  During these slower days, there is time to learn new things and plan for the future.  Lean is all about learning, experimenting, and adapting.  That is just what everybody needs to learn now.  Every day I read about how people are adapting to the new normal, and many are using lean or continuous improvement thinking without knowing it.  For me, at this moment, Lean style problem solving is the on-demand skill.

I am not the only one that thinks that way.  Last year, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), published Indiana’s Employability Skills Benchmarks.  It describes a set of 18 workplace skills recommended for success in today’s competitive workforce.  One of the skills identified in the learning strategies category is problem-solving.  

The way each business adapts the operation to comply with the CDC guidelines is unique.   The solutions are not one-size-fits-all, and on top of that, those guidelines change as they gathered more information.   Learning how to use a systematic process like PDCA and apply lean thinking is critical to identify and implement the new operational guidelines for your business.  

This situation catches most people without the skills to learn and adapt, but it is never late to start.  You are on time to start using lean thinking to approach the current challenges.  With practice, you can build that muscle memory that will guide you through times like this.  The new normal then should be something better than before the coronavirus pandemic.  It is like when you create the future state value-stream-map, imagine a better and stronger business and plan how to make it happen!  Many will go back to business as usual, your competitive advantage will be your new way to do business.

Better Process Solutions can help you to start designing your new processes, get in touch!

Leadership

How do you show your team that you care?

The heart of any business is the employees. Regardless of your experience and skills, they determine your business success. The most prosperous companies recognize that and transform their operations to be people-centric.

We know that when you take care of your team, your team takes care of your customers. The only way to deliver the highest quality of service at the lowest cost is by taking care of the heart of your business. What does it mean to take care of your people? As a leader, one of your top responsibilities is your development and the development of your people. It is like the oxygen mask on the airplanes, you need to put yours first, and then you can help others.

How is it to be a good leader? Good leaders have excellent communication skills and listen without judging. Also, they are grateful to their team and help their people to be successful. They see not only the employee but the human being. Respect people and have open and honest conversations.

The best way to show respect is by treating people like human beings and not as machines. Understand their needs and create an environment to help them succeed. Build high-trust relationships and drive out fear. Encourage teamwork, learning, and participation in improvement activities. When people have the chance to change their work conditions and learn problem-solving and other techniques, they feel appreciated and respected.

Caring about your employees is not only to provide good pay and benefits. It is about providing the opportunities and the environment to learn, grow, and feel that they are capable of making meaningful contributions. In times of coronavirus be a leader is more challenging than ever, but the focus is the same, always put the people first. I talked more about how to be a leader in the times of coronavirus, in this other article.