When do you get your best continuous improvement ideas?
Do you get them in the middle of the busy workday, or do you get them during a quieter period of contemplation?
Many of us get our flashes of inspiration when the working day calms down... and we need to take advantage of this.
If you are able to organise your day so that there is a small amount of 'protected thinking time' then take advantage of this to mull over problems, imagine better ways of working, or just to allow your brain to stop spinning. No meetings, no phone calls, no emails, no walking, no talking.
Encouraging your team to do the same can yield the same kind of benefits; the mind cools down from the frenetic pace for just a little while and often spits out a brilliant insight.
Deciding how you want to handle these ideas is the next challenge. Having the insight is one thing, putting it into practice is another. This is perhaps the first challenge to mull over!
Even a few minutes each week can make a real difference to how your business performs. After a few small victories you might find that this approach gains momentum - just strap yourself in before your business transforms rapidly!
If you feel that you have no time to generate ideas then I urge you to think up some ways that you could carve out even just a few minutes. Make that today's challenge; think up some strategies to get a few minutes thinking time and then try out your strategies!
And, if you want some free tools to help you with your continuous improvement activities then check out the free tools section of the Making It Happen toolkit.
About the author
Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes.
Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.
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