Talking about rapid movement is not just a cliché. Most companies have understood that it will be difficult to keep up with the change of pace today without daring to take calculated risks on an almost daily basis and to make a continuous improvement on work instead of focusing on risk minimization. If you want to succeed in embracing continuous improvement, you will have to engage the organisation as well and make the majority welcome it.
Here are my four pillars for conducting continuous improvement.
1. Let everyone contribute.
The best ideas for change rarely appear magically at the monthly meeting of the management team. They are created when you are walking, lying in bed, exercising, or maybe when you're sitting at the dinner table, as is the reality for most. Companies who make it easy for all employees to contribute ideas and suggestions, no matter of time and place, will see incredible improvements in their pace and quality of business development and innovation.
By letting everyone in the company contribute ideas, you will also make everyone feel involved and committed. To crowdsource the creation of ideas for improvement in the organisation significantly increases the chances that changes are received positively, and the correct ideas get implemented.
2. Your portfolio of ideas
To be able to work with continuous improvement, it's important always to refill the bag of ideas but also to prioritise among them. The easiest way to do that is by creating a portfolio of your beautiful collection of ideas.
This will also make it easier for you to make the right decisions as to what should be prioritised right now. When you collect all your ideas in one place, ideally making them visible to everyone in the company. In this way, your chances of making your method of continuous improvement a powerful tool in business development will radically increase.
3. Dare to try. Press the button
It's time to make things happen. Push the power button of your take-action part of the brain and make sure to implement the changes that will benefit the business. Be sure to actually dare to try things out in reality. Forever preparing a plan for change or writing pre-studies for years before you start the change only increases the risk of being out-of-date when you finally get ready to take action.
Daring to try things out is probably the only actual minimization of risk in today's pace of change.
4. Marketing the change
To make people receive a change, I would like to relate to marketing. There are very few companies which create a product or a service and then just sit there hoping that it will reach the market and speed up (although we have seen a few of them, right?). It's the same thing with change management in organisations; you will need to market it. By marketing, I don't necessarily mean hiring a fancy PR-agency and creating shiny ads, but simply to get to know your organisation and make sure to communicate changes to recipients on their terms. Make the information relevant, to the right person, at the right time.
To wrap it up, take a look back at point number one; it is incredibly easy to make the right change and get the employees engaged if the ideas from the beginning actually are created by the ones who will receive it.