Imagine, purely in theory, that there is someone so cheeky as to say:

To increase performance with less effort, do the following:

  1. Clarify and harmonize the interests of the owner, management and people.
  2. Develop or optimize your business strategy and lock people around it.
  3. Apply leadership and management based on the elements: decency – peace – respect – trust.
  4. Standardize the main company activities: (I hope you read on.)
  5. Create and implement your system of continuous improvement, primarily focused on improving  the professional competencies and emotional intelligence of your people.
  6. As part of the continuous improvement system, do:
    1. Create a system for measuring the performance of people, teams and companies.
    2. Optimize planning and evaluation of plan fulfillment.
    3. Integrate motivation into planning and evaluation to ensure that the employee knows  what they will get when they perform better and better.
    4. Extend and optimize enterprise systems.
    5. Ensure that people understand the business system and know how to use it at work.
  7. Create or optimize systematic education.
  8. Implement “Personal Growth Plans” for each person based on voluntariness and consideration of personal and corporate interests.
  9. Regularly review and update all of these activities in predetermined cycles.

You have read up to here? You have to have great compassion and patience. Because I think it’s pretty outrageous. After all, if it worked like this, books would have max. 10 pages. It is more likely that the 9 points will provoke resistance and similar questions in people such as:

Who are you? What are you clairvoyants? You don’t even know what we do, you don’t know people or the structure of the company or anything, how dare you to say something like that? Or: of course, another sage who has not experienced anything, otherwise he would not bubbled nonsense like this.

And people with such reactions would be absolutely right.

After all, no one can really know the situation of just one person at a distance, not the whole company. That is why it should be about things talk to find a solution and to propose methods and projects for improvement tailored to each company separately.

Speaking of which as to what to do, so good. But be sure to also say why, based on what. People need to know why they have to do it, they want to know why it should be beneficial for them.

So let’s imagine a less rude freelancer who says:

It turns out that the only way to develop a start-up company is continuous systematic improvement, so try to do the following:

  1. Involve more people in thinking about how to do things better. When people believe that management has a lasting interest in improvement, they gradually join in. In the beginning, it will help get people for a long-term plan, for example in the form of a corporate strategy. Before presenting people with a draft strategy so that they can comment on it, specify the interests of the owner and the management of the company.
  1. Incorporate these interests into strategy design or optimization. Discuss it with the people and adjust it until you reach the (voluntary) consent of the majority. It can be very helpful to ask people for their own opinion on how they envision a business in 3 or 5 years. It is worthwhile to incorporate the interests of the people into the draft strategy, if they are, of course, in line with the interests of the owner and management. A well-done strategy adopted by most people has a stimulating effect – it can arouse people and lock around a common goal. Everyone is interested in the future of the company and wants to see their place in it.
  1. Classic command and control of the tasks hamper the development of creative thinking people. They are taught to listen to what is commanded and more or less to fulfill it. It depends on what the means of coercion are.
    It is more beneficial to approach people with more recognition and ask for their opinion. Gradually, you can introduce leadership and management based on the elements: decency – peace – respect – trust.

    And constantly remind people that management is interested in improvement and will be rewarded.

    Usually, people with the greatest potential for improvement are the first to join this game. There are a few in every company. They are the driving forces that get involved when something new happens in the company. It is good to catch these thinkers first, they can play a decisive role in the implementation of a system of continuous improvement. Over time, it can also be useful to rework the organizational structure and complete the part with the network arrangement. The purpose is to increase the freedom but also the responsibility of people who can contribute to creating a creative atmosphere.
  1. Like other new things, improvements should be made in accordance with an agreed sequence of steps. After all, it is not possible for anyone to do what comes to mind, even if the idea is worthy of a Nobel Prize.
    The standardization of major companies will serve well as a basis for improvement activities. It is simply necessary to record what is being done today. It will then be possible to find out whether the newly proposed solution is a real improvement – in what and by how much – over the present. Improvement needs to be measured. Otherwise, there is a real risk that the expected improvement may also be deterioration.

    Based on standardization, it is then also necessary to create and implement a procedure for how improvement in the company should take place from the initial idea, through assessment, decision, approval to implementation.
  1. A newly created or optimized system of continuous improvement should be aimed at prioritizing the improvement of people’s professional competencies and the improvement of their emotional intelligence.

    More capable and willing people will then improve everything they need in the company.

    At present, the main topic of improvement is the improvement of processes, machines, equipment, cost reduction or improving customer relations. It is great to buy a new, modern device for a company, but in combination with people who are thinking about the old one, the effect will be weak.
    Maybe the opposite is better. First, start or develop new, creative thinking of people and let them choose a new device that they would like to work with.
  1. The continuous improvement system should include, in addition to the way new ideas are managed, components that support performance measurement, plan planning and evaluation, fair remuneration of new added value for the company and integrity with other business systems.

    Therefore, emphasis should be placed on the following components of the continuous improvement system:
    1. Everyone in the company should be able to measure their performance, because that is the only way to ensure its proper growth and development. An appropriate measurement system should be chosen to determine whether performance is declining, stagnating or increasing.
    2. Performance measurement must be linked to a system for planning and evaluating the implementation of the plan. Planning should, as far as possible, take into account current human performance. It is important that the performance measurement system can be used by each person to measure and manage their performance.
    3. To this end, it is necessary to include an incentive component in the planning and evaluation of the implementation of the plan. So that everyone knows in advance what they will get from it when they give more and better performance.
    4. Companies have developed various systems, e.g. system of logistics, quality management, controlling, remuneration system, or complex systems of lean production.
      All business systems, including the system of continuous improvement, should be balanced. The degree of development of each system and the level of its connection to the surrounding systems should take into account the needs of people, teams and organizational units. Of course, this can also be a good topic for improvement.
    5. The best way to achieve a state where people understand the business system and know how to use it effectively in their daily work is to involve them in the process of creating and implementing it. We all know this from our practice that the finished regulations and instructions that are commanded to be implemented are very difficult to enforce, even if they are well done. People want to belong somewhere and be recognized. Therefore, it is always beneficial to involve them in creating systems that they will use in their work. Simply reduce the “force” method and extend the “goodies” method.
  1. Whatever is going to happen differently in life, after a new one, education is needed for that. After all, how else could it be done?
    Opinions and themes are being promoted around the world: “it’s all about the head”, “a whole new mind”, “mind setting”, “brain training”, “how your brain works”, “the future of the mind”, “unconventional thinking” and many next. Their common denominator is education and raising awareness.

    Therefore, it is necessary to raise education to a higher level, and this includes the fact that it should be done more systematically.
  1. All the activities and procedures mentioned so far should be included in the “Personal Development Plans” of each person in the company, of course gradually.

    At the heart of a personal development plan should be a long-term voluntary agreement between the company and the person. And it should be about what a person does voluntarily and what the company does to achieve the long-term prosperity of the company within a few years. This gives a person a sense of security and safety and releases their creative energy because they feel recognized and reckoned with.
  1. So much systematicity also includes regularity. Therefore, it is beneficial to review and update all important activities and related documents in optimal cycles. The company’s strategy as well as personal development plans are documents focused on the long-term future. They should be mutually tuned in terms of content and also with regard to the time period for which they were created. Revision and update cycles should correspond to this.

So how to improve or build a new system of continuous improvement, primarily focused on human development?

First, you need to clarify whether you consider your people to be most important for improvement. And also whether you agree that it is best to support people’s growth and development. More capable and willing people will then improve everything they need in the company.

Simply put, it would be good to adopt a basic concept.

Then you can assess what is already done in the company and how it can be integrated into the new layout of the system of continuous improvement.

This will show what needs to be done from the beginning as completely new elements. Subsequently, the original and new elements are arranged in the design of the overall solution, e.g. in the form of a project.

 And you need to make a schedule and get to work. The sooner the better.

It is still good to find out if you have a person at home with knowledge and experience who can manage the whole project. Or invite an external consultant.

He who does not improve stagnates.
He who improves, but not systematically, loses.
Continuous systematic improvement is the solution.
The new system of continuous improvement, primarily focused on human development, is optimal.

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