So, will your company’s improvement last? A wise man told me there’s no such thing as stagnant; you’re either on your way up or down. In business, how does one gauge improvement? The most obvious answer is net receipts. Is the company growing, and is it profitable? That may be the most conclusive measurement; without profit, all else eventually fails. But is it sustainable? Are the procedures and people in place to continue the progress?
Will Your Company’s Improvement Last?
How Can You Drive a Company to Continuous Improvement?
It begins with an honest assessment
To sustain continuous improvement, you must look hard and deep into your organization’s culture, systems, and personnel. You can develop the culture by creating vision teams, conducting SWOT audits, or building roadmaps. But don’t stop there; analyze the results and implement initiatives. You can’t talk shit done.
Follow through with education
When you continuously expose staff to improvement training, you create a culture of continuous improvement. In-house leadership training, off-site courses, and mentoring contribute to a continuous improvement culture.
It’s about asking questions
Continuous questioning is part of continuous improvement. How can we improve, why do we do it that way, and what are we not doing that we should? You should ask these questions daily.
Any goal, including continuous improvement, is only a hope and wish without a plan. Base plans on objective criteria and then take action.
- What activities do we need to continue?
- What activities need improvement?
- What activities should be discontinued?
- What activities need to be reinstated?
Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement
As much as everyone wants things to improve, most don’t want to invest the time needed. Many don’t think they have the time. For lack of an oil change, the delivery truck engine expired. Why wasn’t the oil changed? They were too busy with deliveries. It happens in every organization. Teams become too busy to maintain equipment, train personnel, or question activities.
History is littered with profitable companies that didn’t maintain their success. There are hundreds of examples of organizations that showed tremendous growth and then faltered. Things change. New technologies replace old, the marketplace ebbs and flows, and what worked a short time ago becomes obsolete. Without a commitment to continuous improvement, it’s easy to miss the evolution. Is your organization growing, evolving, and continuously improving?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.