Developing a Strategy at the Awakening Stage
(Part 3 of 3)
You now have processes that are consistently delivering consistent quality and value to your customers. You have development plans in place for your leaders and basic problem solving abilities in your employees.
Where do you go from here?
Your second year and beyond continuous improvement strategy will become a profit center for your firm. Your culture is slowly starting to shift, your leadership are on board and your employees starting to buy in. Once again we go back to the three business categories of; Process, Product, People to answer this question.
Process / Product
Now is the time to make a significant commitment to future development and performance. I strongly recommend the implementation of a 5S strategy at this point of development. This will be followed with a more formal Lean strategy implementation. All business processes in turn will be integrated into this strategy.
This is a cultural revolution which sets the stage for optimal efficiency and effectiveness in a business process. When there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, inefficiencies become distant bad dreams. Employees are able to complete work at the highest level of value creation.
5S is a sequential series of steps that bring a sense of order and discipline to your workplace.
Lean is a culture of excellence which eliminates waste in all its forms, enhances quality and increases efficiency.
Now is the time to bring someone on board that can lead your continuous improvement strategy. I recommend your most active learning manager as your continuous improvement manager / director. This person should be developed by your external Lean Sensei over the course of the fiscal year so that they learn the nuances of the 5S implementation as well as the core lean tools.
With year one’s strategy complete, assess which of your leaders was the most earnest in learning and applying the skills needed for business success. I guarantee you that the combination of learning and applying skills is the most consistent predictor of who would be a successful lean implementor.
Be certain to secure the support of an external Lean Sensei to continue your new lean manager’s development. A sensei can walk your new lean manager through the strategy of Lean as well as the process of Kaizen events, 5S implementation and all other relevant lean tools and culture.
Include in your year 2 strategy a continuing development plan for each of your leaders as well as plan to train all employees on 5S and Lean basic tools.
When you are successful in year 2 of this strategy, you will intuitively know where you need to go in year 3 and beyond.
Learn more about Developing a Strategy of Continuous Improvement
If you' re ready to begin building your continuous improvement strategy, we're here to help. Schedule your complementary STRATEGY SESSION and together we will design a plan that fits your unique business.
Dr. Ron Hurst
Avid cyclist, dog lover, life long learner, enthusiastic problem seeker. My life's work is to challenge leaders like you to grow your abilities to create empowering, positive, high performing workplaces.
Developing Leaders Inc.
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