Masaaki Imai (Father of Kaizen) is quoted as saying Kaizen, otherwise known as Continuous Improvement, means; Everybody, Everywhere, Every day. The challenge/direction is clear; Engage people. Stay engaged yourself and spread commitment!
Engaging employees is a needed and clear task of all Lean managers in organizations everywhere. Yet ironically even the definitions of the word Engagement are trouble-prone; “ the arrangement to meet and go somewhere at a fixed time” Is this the “journey?”. Even less helpful is another “ a fight or battle between armed forces”, which is what shows at many meetings, sometimes passive-aggressively without any words or action.
The challenge of Engagement presents two distinct questions:
- What do we seek with Lean? Lean leaders seek the key business challenges that, if resolved, will lead the company to a superior level of performance.
- How do we Do Lean? Lean is also a practice for (to engage) teams to explore these challenges and find local solutions, which can then think about in global terms at the business level.
The success of a Lean or continuous improvement initiative resides in the leader’s ability to articulate why the organization exists and pursues its intended strategy. It’s about helping the employees understand their contributions to the mission of the organization. When the employees believe in the cause and internalize the WHY, you have gained their commitment through engaging communications, actions, and behaviors.
Join us in a lively discussion of key elements of engaging your work teams to successfully move your organization along the journey to success.
Christian is a passionate change agent focused on inspiring organizational excellence. His years of continuous improvement experience in multiple business sectors include; manufacturing, social media, government, justice, finance, IT, service, retail, NGO, and non-profit. His approach is honest, understanding, and exacting; the alignment of people, the discovery of opportunity and provision of resources to understand the voice of customer and needs of all people aligned toward service. When an organization has the opportunity to see and experience working with him, the ultimate result is an organization inspired, armed, confident, and re-purposed to drive sustainable results with financial and cultural impact.