Sunday, January 17, 2010
Continuous Improvement Process
Speaking of Disney, our visit to Textile Services as part of Disney's Approach to Leadership Excellence included a 30-minute Q & A session with a supervisor who went over their Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). The emphasis was on continuous. This wasn't a one time process to fix a problem. This is an ongoing effort to not be satisfied with the status quo.
They narrowed their process down to 6 points:
1. Listen and Learn
5. Recognize and Celebrate
6. Share insights
1. Listen and Learn - This implies that you have to be communicating with your team. You may know the jobs your fellow team members complete because you do some of the same things. But do you know how they go about their day? Do they do something better than anybody else? Is there a process that is hindering the success of their job? Listen to what your co-workers are saying and learn from their experience.
2. Measure - Track what you've learned from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Most employees are capable of finding solutions and determining what works best for them. When written down, you can communicate what you've measured in a more efficient way.
3. Act - Put in motion some of the proposed solutions. It's the last part of Walt's Dream, Believe, Dare, DO credo. You'll never know how something works if you don't act.
4. Re-measure - Did the new process in this process work? Did it fail? Did it bring a new insight?
5. Recognize and Celebrate - When it works, recognize it. Celebrate it! Do you have a wall of fame in your organization? If you have kids you probably have one at home. Why not bring that into your workplace? It doesn't have to be out front so customers can see it. But put it where employees can see it every day and you may find a way to motivate your team members.
6. Share Insights - How often do you get together as a team? And your team can be defined by those that work in your store/organization, management team or senior leadership.
Do you have a process in place for improvement? Is it within you or do you depend on someone else for improvement?
What happens if you don't improve? Do you hear that? That sound you hear is footsteps. If you don't improve you can be guaranteed that your competition will be.