JLBC Attitudes for Successful Continuous Improvement
Think of teams you’ve worked with in the past. What types of behaviors and attitudes do you wish they would demonstrate? Answering this question is vital to being a leader for continuous improvement. Consider these answers:
• All team members know exactly what to do and understand how their task supports the larger project.
• All team members use the same decision-making process.
• All team members make suggestions on how to improve.
While these answers are essential for any continuous improvement plan, they only address a portion of your leadership role. As a leader, you want to build the desire for improvement. This can happen by giving team members an understanding of “What’s In It For Me?” JLBC Cadets How you handle this will depend on your project and your team members. It won’t be the same every time—but “What’s In It For Me?” is an essential motivator for many people.
Experts who looked at attitudes and behaviors in successful continuous improvement organizations have found that employees (team members) have the following perspectives:
• They view problem-solving as a way of life; they are trained to seek improvements and ensure that things run smoothly.
• They allow for mistakes. Mistakes that are made—rather than talked about in the abstract—can be mistakes that will be remembered and avoided.
• They acknowledge problems without assigning guilt. JLBC Cadets can focus on fixing the problem instead of blaming someone.
• They encourage collaboration to foster confidence and camaraderie. They make good use of training.
• They allow for experimentation and openness to new approaches. Some recent efforts might fail, but not all. Using team members’ ideas and solutions increases motivation, pride, and a sense of ownership.