Are You a Valuable Leader?

How can you tell if you are adding value as a leader? Have you achieved the results that you intended to?  Did you add value to your organisation?

In the pursuit of elementary waste, we look to reduce non-value add functions and focus on true value add.  As a Lean leader, are you adding value in what you do?

Have you tried to implement continuous improvement initiatives or projects?  Do you feel like you have to make too many changes all at the same time?

Good Lean leaders who know how to successfully create a continuous improvement environment understand that making the right small changes, gives them the slight edge in adding value.

The sports world provides many examples of the slight edge concept.  The difference between Gold, Silver and Bronze in swimming is measured in hundredths of a second.   The top two or three golfers in the world earn 10 to 15 times what the golfers ranked at 50th would earn. Yet the difference between them is only a little more than one stroke for 18 holes of golf.  The right small changes can give you the slight edge to improve your performance and leadership value.

Seriously consider the following 7 small changes you can make to achieve an increase in your value as a leader of continuous improvement.

  1. Maintaining a climate of open communication and a spirit of cooperation enables you to maximise the interests and strengths of each team member. Not only do good human relations skills help you prevent problems, they can help you transform potential troublemakers into team players who are personally productive and looking to find a better way to do things.
  2. Making sure that the work is done on time is one of your most important functions. A relatively small, slight edge in improvement in planning and scheduling could enable you to meet every deadline, improve productivity, prevent overtime, unjam bottlenecks, improve OEE reduce waste and reduce frustration.
  3. Controlling your time frees the critical hours required for planning and scheduling. Effective time management enhances performance, increases productivity, and allows for innovation and improvement.
  4. By improving your problem-solving skills using Lean tools, you will gain a slight edge that pays enormous dividends. A problem identified and solved when it first surfaces creates far more value than trying to put the pieces back together after a crisis. Preventing a fire requires far less time and effort than fighting a blaze raging out of control.
  5. The members of your work group, department or division bring a variety of talents, training, interests and commitment to the goals of your organisation. Learn to meld your team into a smoothly functioning unit. Striving for improvement in both their own actions and the operational processes creates a synergistic force that leads to greater success.
  6. See the big picture. When you improve your ability to think of the potential for improvement across the organisation as a whole, you enhance relationships with people at every level of the organisation. You make more effective decisions and increase the value of your contribution to the overall objectives. An important part of your contribution is your ability to train others to look for improvement opportunities and to accept responsibility for increasing the effectiveness of the team.
  7. Demonstrate in your words and actions an “Attitude of ownership” toward your work and the practices of continuous improvement. When you encourage the same attitude of ownership among employees, they gain a sense of belonging and importance. The quality of their work improves and their acceptance of positive change grows. An attitude of ownership causes you and your staff to take pride in what you do.

At Think Perform, we are passionate about developing great continuous improvement practices.