Continuous Improvement During a Pandemic?
Updated: Jul 22
Continuous Improvement (CI) professionals all over the world are facing a similar challenge - getting buy-in for improvement efforts during this pandemic. My overly short response to that is, quit trying so hard! I am not saying to give up entirely, yet it is much like Sisyphus pushing a giant boulder up a hill. My question for you is this:
Do you really know why you are pushing THAT boulder up THAT hill at THIS time?
The reality is that you probably need to abandon that hill, let that boulder go for this period of time, and switch to leading a search for gems among pebbles. Okay… I may be losing you on this analogy, so let me elaborate.
Much of what we do in CI ties to improving a standard, or baseline, from how we currently do work. Yet, during this pandemic, there is no baseline. Things seem to change daily. It takes tremendous energy to improve on a moving target, and there may not be value in doing so right now for all areas of an organization.
For essential business roles, it does make sense to document standard processes and have a method to rapidly revise and communicate those standards. The intent is to enable the best outcomes for stakeholders during a time when consistent delivery is most challenging.
For the rest of us, we can work on finding those gems among pebbles. In other words, spend this time identifying opportunities for once our organizations begin to stabilize. Reach out to various departments and levels to ask about people's experiences during the pandemic. Some example questions include:
· What has been a challenge?
· What has worked well?
· Based upon what you learned during this time, what should we do differently?
· How can the leadership team support you better during times of change?
The answers to these questions will not only provide guidance around processes to consider changing or creating, they may also point to cultural changes, leadership training opportunities, new workforce models, technology, and risk mitigation as we move into the future.
There is more than enough work in every organization right now for CI. It just requires a shift in focus, a passion for learning and listening, and the commitment to communicate and act upon what you hear and experience during this time. CI professionals are change agents that enable agility while improving business results. So, from that lens, this is the perfect time to be leveraging CI.
How have you or your organization leveraged CI during this time? Contact Us at https://www.lbmoment.com/ to share your story. Or let us know if you would like an assessment to help your organization develop a sustainable return-to-work plan.
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