In an ever-evolving world, where disruption will become the norm and not the unforeseeable eventuality to industries not currently expecting it, the need to make continuous improvements in your industry will become a business requirement instead of a nice to have. Resting on your Laurels will see you fall behind. But it is not just technology that has to change. Making small incremental changes in how you run your business can have a significant impact in how you effect your bottom line.
Proactive businesses are always looking for ways to improve their current practices, not just looking for that new innovation. At the very least, to ensure they have a strong foundation for growth. Making sure they have a strong team, streamlined, efficient processes and a culture that not only desires but seeks out continuous improvement from their team at all levels will go a long way to ensure business longevity.
To this end, a business with a Continuous Improvement drive will seek incremental changes over time and sometimes achieve breakthrough moments that allow it to move to another phase of its growth. Thus, making them more competitive and a market leader, leaving its competitors behind.
Like the old saying goes, there are three types of people . . . those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what happened. Which are you?
Continuous Improvement is a gradual and incremental process that encourages all levels and functions of a business to have a voice in increasing the effectiveness and efficiencies to fulfil a company’s objectives or even surpassing what they may have seen possible. This methodology has a long history and stems from the Kaizen (continuous improvement) methodology adopted initially through industries in Japan and now globally. As no process will ever be declared perfect, there is always room for improvement.
The 10 commandments of continuous improvement are:
- Having an open mind and letting go of preconceived ideas of what is possible
- Having a can-do attitude
- Viewing an issue as being with the process, not the people following the process
- Looking for simple solutions so not overcooking it
- Fix problems as they are identified so a small issue does not become a big issue
- Use creativity instead of capital where possible
- See problems as opportunities for positive change in your business
- Find out the real issue so addressing the actual problem
- Use collective wisdom of all relevant team members
- Remember there is not a final destination on an improvement journey
By firstly ensuring your team are aligned with your company goals and then secondly, implementing a continuous improvement culture into your business, you will ensure a more engaged, aligned and empowered workforce thus leading to a more efficient and profitable business.
As Mark Twain once said, “Continuous Improvement is better than delayed perfection”.