Does every person in your business appreciate how they personally impact success? Do they realise that their day to day actions will have a direct impact on profitability?
For instance, using two things when one would do. Not running a spell check before pressing the print button. Taking too long to complete a task because of co-worker distractions. Ignoring a problem because it is not ‘your job’. These are all examples of business ‘waste’ which, if left unchecked, will reduce the long term profitability of a business.
And of course, what starts off small can easily grow. If waste becomes an organisational habit then before you know it big things like marketing, new product introduction and IT systems are all going to be affected. It might become the ‘norm’ that things are not delivered on time or customer service is not that great or that something costs more than the original budget.
In organisations, everyone really is in it together. Irrespective of level or role everyone in the business needs to identify all the small ways that they waste money or provide poor service or take too long to complete a task. In the true spirit of Kaizen, it’s all about identifying thousands of small simple improvements that mount up to make a big difference. You can only foster this true cultural change if every member of staff is engaged in identifying and solving these issues.
Can you imagine if every person did this? It would totally transform our businesses. It would energise staff at all levels and it would make us greater than we are today.
Business leaders must realise that everything they do in their business should be about engaging their people to embrace a true Kaizen culture of continuous improvement. Everyone must be encouraged to;
- Suggesting new products, markets and ideas to grow the company
- Identify where the business wastes time and money
- Implement solutions to root causes, not just symptoms
- Champion the company with everyone they meet
- Providing excellent customer service every time (both internally and externally)
In many businesses, people do not feel in it together. If managers lead the way (by setting expectations and the right example) and encourage their people to focus on the ‘bottom line’ then their businesses are much more likely to survive and thrive.