Setting a Bad Example
We have all seen it many times before. That meeting organizer that comes into a meeting 25 minutes late. Everyone in the room respectfully held off starting the meeting and simply took care of busy work or catching up on social connections with others in the meeting. Time passed slowly and schedules later in the day started getting pushed back. Frustration was starting to fill the air. In a rushed flurry, the meeting organizer entered the room, briskly apologized for the tardiness. The excuse? Well, we have all heard them. They were on the phone, in another room, signing documents, caught up with an issue, another meeting ran over, delayed getting back from lunch, etc, etc, etc. All things considered, the apology and excuses wear thin. Making matters worse, the meeting organizer is the one who called the meeting. Are you feeling the familiar level of frustration yet? You bet you are! Use this example as a learning point and make sure you aren’t guilty of the same type of behavior. As a Lean Six Sigma professional, accountability and constant improvement starts with you first!
Accountability Starts At The Top
In our day-to-day work process, we are focused on eliminating waste from the organization. Sometimes your focus on organizational waste become so intense, you may be forgetting about how to improve yourself. As a Lean Six Sigma practitioner, your skill set is entirely focused on eliminating waste and constant quality improvement. Take the time to refocus those powerful tools and skills back on you. It is where it all begins. Here are some steps to get you to that:
- Define Yours – What is your definition of value? Just as the customer defines what is value and what is waste in our process, you must precisely define what is value in your day-to-day. Anything else is waste.
- Make an Assessment – Identify the waste in your own work. The seven wastes of lean provide a compass to guide you. Use your skills.
- Develop Solutions – Develop accurate and specific solutions for every example of waste. Don’t try applying a broad brush stroke. Be laser focused.
- Be Systematic – Waste will continue to creep if you don’t systematically practice habits to eliminate waste.
Living the Example
Get control of yourself and start eliminating waste in your daily process. Use your Lean Six Sigma practice and tools to eliminate the waste and propel you towards a more productive practice. Setting the example is a demand of your profession. Make it a daily habit to eliminate waste as an individual, then as an organization.
To learn more about applying lean to your daily life and work, check out the book A Factory of One, Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance.