Tip #8 – Eliminate Non-Value Added Process Activities
The use of lean tools and concepts by work teams in organizations is very popular right now. Unfortunately, few organizational leaders use these tools on their own work processes. For example, do you measure and trend meeting effectiveness? Have you taken steps to make your decision making processes leaner? Does each work team leader in your organization have plans that minimize the non-value added activities that exist in those key processes they are personally responsible for?
Hypocrisy holds back a high performance work culture as much as anything. You can’t begin to move your culture forward if systems remain in place to hold it back. Leaders need to remove waste from all key work processes, not just those that hourly people perform. As with hypocrisy, ‘Leader Standard Waste’ kills a culture change effort.
DISCOVER MORE: Process Improvement Strategies
Tip #9 – Use Technology as an Improvement Catalyst
Most organizations attempt to utilize new technologies. However, few achieve the degree of success that they should. The primary challenge in realizing this potential lies in the fact that most members of upper management are ‘before computers’ people. They began their work career before computers were in the mainstream. In turn, their perspective of the power of a digital workplace are short sighted.
In most cases, their attempts to use e-mail, intranets, and video conferences to help the organization only scratch the surface when it comes to effective technology use. Each work team leader’s goal should be to reach more people with a more powerful message. Technology use should help collect more information from more customers in a low cost manner.
Instead, technology use results in more time waste via ineffective meetings. Little gain in decision speed or accuracy occurs. Slow typing, redundant report generation, and speedy, but often counterproductive, feedback add further to the Leader Standard Waste stream list.
LEARN MORE: How to Measure and Improve Your Technology Utilization Work System
Tip #10 – Stop Doing Things That Run Counter to the Culture You Desire
Each day, your work culture moves closer to, or further away from, the type of culture that you desire. Cultures are a system in themselves. They have momentum. Plus, they spin in either in a negative or positive direction. Your work systems reinforce both desired and undesired work habits every day. Until you recognize this, you won’t be motivated to identify and change those systems that reinforce those things that you don’t really want to reinforce.
In the above nine tips, I give you some examples of ineffective work systems. I hope that you take the time to reflect on the degree to which similar examples might be in place in your organization. More importantly, should you find such systems in place, I hope that you begin to take actions to upgrade them. If you do so, your ‘new’ work systems will reinforce the right beliefs and behaviors, instead of the wrong ones.
EXPLORE MORE: Workplace Safety Best Practices
How Value Added are Your Culture Change Efforts?
I wrote my ‘how to develop a high performance work culture’ book to help companies stop time and money waste as they try to change their cultures in unproductive ways. Most organizations try to change their work cultures by hiring consultants, sending people to training sessions, asking their leaders to manage differently, and forming teams that may only last a year or two. In some cases, these approaches might have some impact.
Unfortunately, the shift usually takes a lot longer than it should. Today’s high performance organizations use more effective approaches to develop and sustain the work culture they desire. I describe many of these approaches in the book. However, I also give a lot of these ideas away for free here on this website.
Do you want different results (a new and improved work culture)? If so, you must change the systems that created, and currently reinforce, the work culture you have in place. Also, significant emotional events, such as the loss of a major customer, an acquisition, or the threat of a facility closure, can change a culture. However, one rarely wants to go through such an experience in order to make this happen. Instead, learn from the organizations that have built and sustained high performance work cultures.
If you have any questions about how to change your work culture, send me an e-mail at email@example.com. All such an e-mail will cost you is a little of your time.
Keep improving! Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer and Systems Guy, Great Systems
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