Developing a Strategy at the Awakening Stage
(Part 2 of 3)
Okay now you have assessed your business and identified systemic deficiencies in certain customer facing processes, and evaluated the remainder of your processes. You have completed gap assessments on your leadership team and created development plans for your leadership team.
Let’s revisit our three business categories of; Process, Product People.
How well are you doing in each of these three categories?
I recommend as a first objective you look critically at any deficiency in your products or services that can be addressed by your new Kaizen approach.
A second priority is to evaluate your processes and realize efficiency gains through targeted improvement projects. Your employees are invaluable in this strategy as they will know exactly what holds the processes back from greater performance. Ask them my favorite question one on one, "other than me, what holds you back, keeps you from doing your best work?"
The third priority is to further grow the skill set of your people. Enacting a continuous improvement strategy is a multi-year enterprise. This means you have time to intentionally build the skill set of your employees and leaders as you build your strategy. Start by having them learn Lean Kaizen and practice it on small improvement projects under the guidance of an external Lean Sensei.
Year 1 Plan
Identify SMART goals (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Timed) for each of the three areas. I recommend setting 90 day goals and tracking progress weekly. In this way you can quickly shore up any product / service defects that hold your business back. If you correct the right problems (right defined by customers perception of value) you will see immediate payback from this effort. Enhancing business processes and products/services will further strengthen customer perceptions of value.
With respect to your people, move from solely upskilling your leaders to also including basic problem solving training for your employees. Leaders should be well into their development plans throughout the year and those who stall out will become cultural growth obstacles.
Once you've got the plan, advance to Step #3 IMPROVE.
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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