A culture of continuous improvement is crucial

A culture of continuous improvement is crucial

A culture of continuous improvement is crucial

Building a culture of continuous improvement in an age of disruption

A cultural shift in an age of disruption

Building a culture of continuous improvement is not just about executing a handful of process improvement projects. More is required to drive sustainable results over time and embed continuous improvement into the very fabric of the organization.

A culture of continuous improvement is crucial to organizational performance and survival in an era of profound and accelerating disruption.

The most dangerous phrase in business - A culture of continuous improvement is crucial

The most dangerous phrase in business – We’ve always done it this way

Yet most organizations that make a run at continuous improvement fail to make it stick. How to support continuous improvement?

#1 – Show respect to the people whose work will change by getting them involved in defining the improvements

People resist change that is imposed on them. But if they help define the changes, they will own them. Whenever an organization imposes new things on people there will be difficulties. Participation, involvement and open, early, full communication are the important factors.

#2 – Welcome failure in experiments of new ways of working as a way to learn – remove the downside risks and provide upside

Experiments allow us to learn and improve. Commit to your employees that they will stay employed if they suggest process change. You should also give them some of the upside from making those changes – profit sharing and promotions. And by training them, you can demonstrate your commitment to their development.

 #3 – Create wins – pour champagne on it

When you have a daunting mountain to climb, it is often best to break it into molehills. Continuous improvement challenges are best broken down into smaller ones with concrete achievable goals.

Breaking such problems down into a series of more modest steps, all on the path to the ultimate goal, reduces fear, clarifies direction, and increases the probability of early successful outcomes – boosting support for further action. If you want something to grow, don’t forget to pour champagne on it.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

Thanks for the post! I particularly liked ‘pour some champagne on it’. – we all need to celebrate more to really create traction and momentum in our success. Thx!!

Thank you for this post. I am not convinced that a culture of continuous improvement is enough to survive in an environment of disruption. Continuous improvement seeks to improve a current state whereas disruption may call (will most likely call) for something entirely different than the current state i.e. a transformation. Will the characteristics of a culture of continuous improvement be sufficient to foster a transformation? Do we have all the ingredients for this recipe?

Good point Jean – Thanks.

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