There is a lot more talk in companies about lean management and quality processes than action and more importantly results.
Employees spend valuable time sitting in courses or listening hired consultants during the day to explain how to run a lean production or to set up a quality system.
Consultants run into open doors, because SME owner is overwhelmed by the seemingly large amount of work that lies ahead.
While visiting companies I have too often seen quality manuals collecting dust on the shelves. Honestly, do your employees know what is in there? Are these documents that are improved continuously? I have seen in companies even professionally bound quality manuals in book form! How is that going to work in terms of continuous improvement?
Another related area of activity in companies is the lean management. People like to talk about it and plans are put in place. Naturally this is followed by another favorite activity by managers, putting teams together. Nothing more is so fun, or frustrating, in companies than having big meetings. Usually little gets done or decided in big meetings.
Most of us have an inherent desire wanting to improve constantly. Most of your employees do have this trait. Use it carefully but effectively.
To put it simply all these systems and methods are about:
- Being transparent about challenges and acknowledging also own weaknesses and addressing those
- having clear goals and everyone knows them
- setting simple actions plans and responsibilities
- document only what really needs to be documented. Story telling is not your business!
- being consequent
- celebrate success
- do it all over again – relentlessly
In order to improve your business you need doers in your team.
So empowering your doers and using common sense and sense of good humor and you can probably avoid highly paid consultants altogether.