How do you engage all of your leaders in the daily pursuit of operational excellence?
Additionally, it is often the case that work team supervisors, middle managers, and even those at the top actually act in a way that run counter to the efforts of the process improvement teams. In some cases, these people even restrict team performance by making it difficult for their people to go to team meetings, failing to help teams collect process analysis data, or making decisions that limit team resources. In short, they don’t practice personal kaizen very well.
Most organizations see their operational excellence, lean six sigma, or process improvement teams as an add on – as a program. They fail to realize that in order to become a high performer and sustain your success, you have to do two things. First, you must consistently engage a high percentage of your people.
Second, you need to require every work team leader and process owner to practice personal kaizen. In other words, use process improvement tools on essentially a daily basis. Doing so is the optimum way to take the waste out, and increase the value, of the processes they are responsible for.
EXPLORE MORE: Ten Common Operational Excellence Barriers
Why was the ‘Personal Kaizen Operational Excellence®’ certificate approach created?
I created the ‘Personal Kaizen Operational Excellence®’ certificate approach for two reasons. First, I wanted to share a process with others that had worked for me as a plant manager. Second, I have grown weary of watching people chase fads. I was tired of hearing the frustrations of those who have tried to put improvement systems in place and struggled to sustain them.
From my own 40-plus years of work, I know you can do great things with improvement teams. Plus, I know that if you want to ‘go faster’, you have to build operational excellence skills and expectations into every employee’s job.
In particular, all formal leaders must see all work as a process. All formal leaders should not only know how to use process improvement tools, but be able to tell stories of effective tool use. Ideally, they consistently practice personal kaizen daily, at least on the job.
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