Top Ten Percent Leaders embrace continuous improvement to support their business strategy. There are many tools that can be used, such as Six Sigma value stream mapping, process management, or LEAN tools, such as Plan-Do-Check-Act, Fishbone, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, and many more excellent tools. It’s not the tool, it’s the Leader’s leadership that makes the difference.
We know this because many Leader’s are quick to point out that their improvements cannot be sustained. The reason for this points back to a deficiency in the Human System.
One area that proves difficult for many Leaders is their ability to improve collaboration. If this is a stumbling block for your organization, consider some of these recommendations.
- Invest in a well-rounded team. Staff your teams with a combination of different personality types – innovators/risk takers, collaborators, stabilizers (process-driven workers), and goal focused workers that are results oriented. It may seem strange that we don’t want to have a team comprised of goal focused workers, but the communication style and work preferences will create huge gaps and compromise the team’s overall effectiveness.
- Conduct periodic brainstorming sessions.
- Establish SMART goals that facilitate different teams and departments working together.
- Teach your teams communication skills that allow teammates to resolve their differences on their own.
Empower your fist-line supervisors.
Many leaders vastly underestimate the potential contribution of first-line supervisors and tend to stymy them with an overabundance of reports and meetings. First-line supervisors should be spending 80% of their time with their teams, not 80% of their time doing paperwork and attending meetings. Many mid-management leaders have an opportunity of doing more strategic work rather than being mired down with the details that should be the focus of the first-line supervisor.
- Delegate with the intent of developing your first-line supervisors.
- Make sure your expectations are clear
- Give your first-line supervisors more autonomy and back their decisions.
- Provide them the right resources.
- Give them constructive feedback.
Identify and prioritize improvements in work execution.
As organizations evolve so do the work requirements of every team. Over time, many teams outlive the usefulness of their Management Operating System (MOS).
- Evaluate how your team is using their time on core work versus time spent in meetings, time spent on email, and time spent on interruptions putting out fires.
- What is the predominant mode of operation for your team?
- Constantly putting out fires;
- barely keeping their heads above water;
- incrementally improving.
- How much productive time do they spend on the important work. Most organizations are less than 70% efficient and the average team can pick up ½ to 1 full day of additional productivity per person.
DiBona & Associates utilizes a combination of tools and methodologies that help clients address the Human System and the Management Operating System to achieve higher levels of productivity. Our goal is to help each and every client to become a member of the Top Ten Percent. Visit www.ConsultDiBona.com for more insights.