A culture of continuous improvement (CI) is not easy to attain, but once in place, results in an organization that is steadily improving its performance over time. The key to CI success? Defining what it means, socializing it, and getting all stakeholders to understand its value and become advocates across the organization. This blog explains the value behind CI and how certified CI instructors are essential to educating your entire organization and paving the way for a high-performance mindset across the entire organization.
Continuous Improvement Leads to High Performance
Adopting a continuous improvement (CI) methodology is key to long-lasting organizational success. Continuous improvement stems from prioritizing a culture of strategic problem-solving, but it is important for all employees to foster the same problem-solving techniques through the right training. Many companies today lack this methodology, but the ones that are prioritizing it (GE, Honeywell, Pfizer, and Cisco, to name a few) are seeing a continuous uptick in KPIs and organizational performance.
Embrace a Problem-Solving Framework
There are several ways to tackle a business problem, from rush decision making to a more scientific, data-driven methodology. While the former may temporarily put out fires, it is ineffective in leading to long-lasting solutions. Those same issues continue to reappear, costing time and money that should be spent on more important organizational goals and innovation.
A best-practice approach to tackling your organization’s biggest issues is to implement an official problem-solving framework. The value of systems that tackle this framework (such as Lean, A3 Thinking and Six Sigma) have been consistently proven in many top-performing companies throughout recent decades. When applied, these strategies are incredibly powerful – knowing how to strategically tackle the root issue, not just adopt temporary solutions, has a significant positive impact on process, performance, and your organization’s overall culture.
Problem-solving approaches need to be applied consistently across all levels within your organization—which is no easy task. For instance, front line employees may not typically leave their daily tasks and drive large scale problem-solving events – but they are arguably the best ones to eliminate unnecessary steps or repetitive processes that have a direct impact on your company’s daily operations. Learning to identify, capture and replicate these areas can drastically change the way your employees work, leading to much more efficient and streamlined processes—and ultimately, more profitability.
Get Everyone Engaged
An organization’s employees are its secret to success. And without their genuine buy-in, even the best CI approaches can fail. Whether it is strategy deployment, Kaizen events, tiered scorecards, or structured problem-solving, it is necessary to include all employee levels to begin building CI into your organizational DNA.
When you include everyone, regardless of title or position, employees feel empowered to use their area of expertise to contribute—enabling your organization to capture improvements and innovation that it might otherwise overlook. And because continuous improvement as an organizational mindset fosters a culture of praise and recognition among all employees, this in turn leads to feelings of value, trust, respect and loyalty—core human emotions that are key factors that get employees engaged and keep them engaged with a continuous improvement mindset.
Train the Trainer
To create better business performance, you need to go beyond the baseline of merely adopting and applying Lean and Six Sigma tools in one or two departments. The key is to truly change the paradigm of how your entire organization solves problems, starting with employees and helping them to understand the value of this approach. The way to get them there is by fostering structured problem-solving methods through education, such as Balanced Scorecard Institute’s CI training. With trained CI ambassadors in place, your organization has a more effective, holistic strategy to overcome its toughest challenges and can gain long-lasting, ongoing performance improvements.
Contact us about how Balanced Scorecard Institute can customize a CI training specifically for your organization that can help pave the path to strategic problem-solving for your company.