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How thick is your 'improvement skin'?

Making change happen can sometimes happen in an instant, when you manage to hit on the right combination of desire, momentum and skills.

Other times it can take longer...

During these longer periods it is perceived that you will require a thick skin to navigate the obstacles, friction and problems that you will face.

Reflecting on this:

When you meet with your colleagues there will inevitably be differences of opinion.
You have the opportunity to accept this point of view and therefore detach yourself slightly from the debates, so that you can navigate to the optimal outcome.

There will be problems during the project.
You will most likely have to make U-turns, learn new things and realise that original ideas need to be changed / refined. You can plan to expect these situations and effectively 'roll with the punches' when the time occurs.

Taking the lead isn't always plain sailing.
When you lead an improvement you will potentially come under fire and be criticised. If you realise that this is par for the course then you will be able to cruise past these times with prepared responses and avoid this being an issue.


There will undoubtedly be other situations that will challenge you as a leader of change in your business. But, if you think about what you will encounter, and realise some basic truths about how change happens, you can be ready for what comes at you.

From the outside it does look like that you need a thick skin to deal with the process of change. From the inside it is often the case of planning, preparation and tenacity.

How thick / prepared is your skin for the journey ahead?

Giles



Get your improvement projects moving with 'Making It Happen'

If you want some tools and techniques to help your improvement projects come to life then check out my continuous improvement toolkit - Making It Happen.

The toolkit includes tried and tested strategies and methods that I use with my clients to help them achieve the results they needed in their businesses.

Just knowing the improvement methods is not always enough, often it is the strategies that make the methods work that yield the results.

To learn more about the toolkit, and what it covers, click here.

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Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

Giles
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 i…