Continuous Process Improvement: Time to Rethink

changeDo your eyes roll back at the thought of change? Your stomach knot up with the idea of making corrections to a course? Hopefully, this post will set you to thinking more about the wonderful opportunities that lie before you.

“We’ve always done it that way” is a trap. It could mean you’ve been doing it wrong for a long time.

To make anything better requires thought. So when I write, “think about it,” that’s the place to start. With the thought process. Nothing worth improving ever fixes itself. It requires thought, planning, and action.

Your job as a leader is to help your business grow by paying attention to your teammates and your customers and by constantly fine tuning your processes.  You want every job to get done efficiently  and without hassles.

“We’ve always done it that” leads to stagnation and rot. There’s a pithy saying:  Life is like a tomato plant.  As long as it’s green, it’s growing. When it gets ripe, it starts to rot.”

Be green in your thinking. Be alert and alive and aware.  Look for opportunity to improve in all things. Once you adopt this mindset of growth, change becomes easy.

I don’t espouse change for the sake of change. But when the need to change a process, no matter how small, becomes evident, change is required.

Small changes are much easier to adapt to and swallow. Those who are resistant to change may require additional time to educate on the why, and you should take this time. The reasons behind doing what we do are vitally important to be shared with anyone and everyone affected by a new process.

Effective processes make the routine things run smoothly and consistently.  They free people up to do the things needed to turn a good business into a great business.

If you really want to maximize the potential of your employees and the satisfaction of your customers, the last thing you want is to subject them to hassles caused by bad or inefficient procedures.

Process and procedure. Policy. The way we do things. Rules. Operating guidelines.  These are all words for the same thing — they all define the way we interact with other people and the physical environment and technology in order to accomplish specific tasks in the best and most efficient way.

Ignore the details at your own peril.

Bottom line:  Identify process problems and act as quickly as possible to fix them.