By Jon Miller | Post Date: December 8, 2005 7:49 AM | Comments: 0
My travels this week have made me the late blogger each day. I've had the benefit of being able to read and be inspired by the work of the other Gang of Severn bloggers. Thanks to an ice storm in Dallas I am unexpectedly in the office for a few hours. I will post early today, and keep it (relatively) short and this to the point.
Norman Bodek in his post on the Kaikaku blog talks about what is Quick and Easy Kaizen. Norman stresses the importance of respect for people as part of what makes Toyota successful with kaizen. In a collaborative project team context a good place to start is making sure each person makes promises they can keep.
Quick and Easy Kaizen asks each person to make small changes to their own work. The asking is done by the leaders who are empowering them to change their work. Bill Waddell on his Evolving Excellence blog made a great point that the team leader needs to "remove the shackles" or empower people, and set "unreasonable" or stretch goals to focus the minds of project team members on Quick and Easy Kaizen ideas to improve their work. They must motivate, inspire and support.
A common question that comes from those empowered to do with kaizen, and Quick and Easy Kaizen in particular, is "What's in it for me?" Most companies today with successful suggestions systems pay between $1 and $5 for the vast majority of improvement ideas. More valuably, most of these companies have made an explicit commitment to not laying off workers to improve profit numbers in the short term. Most of these companies happen to be Japanese.
Quick and Easy Kaizen is deceptively simple. It is not easy for most organizations, and Quick and Easy Kaizen expert Norman Bodek asks "Why in the world isn't every company in America doing this?" in his blog. I think it's because it's difficult to ask people to change their individual work.
It's not so difficult to ask when you can demonstrate respect for people. The best form of respect, reward and recognition is for leadership to make a commitment to grow the company and maintain employment and a good quality of life for people. Leaders, when doing Quick and Easy Kaizen for project teams or for larger, less temporary organizations, need to consider how to link kaizen to overall strategies and objectives of the business.
The Kaizen for Project Teams blog entries on Panta Rei are Making the Case for Kaizen for Project Teams, Workgroup Kaizen for Project Teams, Workstream Kaizen for Project Teams, Quick and Easy Kaizen for Project Teams, and Kaizen Blitz for Project Teams.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.