Over the last decade, companies and organisations in nearly every industry all over the world have introduced Lean Six Sigma to increase customer satisfaction and to deliver impressive results. An outstanding example is General Electric, the company who has made Six Sigma as popular as it is today.
Another term that has drawn tremendous attention in the business world is Innovation. On the one hand, Lean Six Sigma works towards very low variation in processes with high efficiency. Innovation, on the other hand, seeks to find undiscovered, uncertain territory. Such efforts are rather inefficient. Innovation requires risk-taking, making mistakes and learning from failures.
Can a corporate culture be developed on both key thinking patterns in order to get the best out of Lean Six Sigma Efficiency and Innovative Solutions? Continue reading →
Habit 3: Drive Continuous Improvement and Innovation
Working with management teams of our clients often takes them away from their business for a few days. They frequently get in touch with their teams at home. Sometimes I involuntarily eavesdrop their part of the conversation. “How is it going? Is everything ok?” is a very common question they ask their teams. When they get some kind of “yes” they feel much better.
My old professor at the university, we called him Ho, had the habit of having tea with the whole team of his assistants in the morning whenever he was around. I cannot say that these sessions were my favourite pastime. Yet, I have to say that these sessions had been a great learning experience. Ho would never ask a question like “Is everything ok?” Instead, his preferred question was “What are your issues? What is new?” Continue reading →
You may have heard and read much in the last few years regarding creativity and innovation. Or you may even have attended a creativity workshop that you found interesting and fun that has helped you come up with some new ideas. Now your current employer may be requiring innovative input. However, you find that your suggestions are mostly ignored or frowned upon. This is mainly because nobody has told you the „The Secret”. Continue reading →
Innovation has drawn tremendous attention in the business world over the last decades and seems to be up on the radar screens again. The character of Innovation has changed over time from the traditional research-based theory towards the knowledge-driven approach that is based heavily on our social networks. Innovation has made its way from the laboratory into all parts of business life.
The more important is to identify drivers and hindrances for Innovation. The Readiness to Innovate depends on basically three factors: Individual Creativity and Innovativeness, Support by Organisational Climate and System Openness. This article aims to explore the motivation for Individuals’ Innovativeness and hence their influence on company’s growth and revenue.
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Some time ago, I was facilitating a Six Sigma project group involved in solving a process challenge. This group had been working on defining the parameters regarding recruitment policies. This included the allocation of cubicle, phone number, password, printing of name cards, email, pass card, etc for the new hires. The process involved seven people, taking about five months to complete. The team had dutifully performed all the analysis required, used the necessary tools and come up with detailed process delays corresponding to different positions to be delivered to the new hires. It all pointed out to be a ‘people problem’. “If Mr X and Mrs Y did their job properly we would not have any delays” was the assumed concluded answer to all the problems.
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If you want to clarify or explore a task, find root causes of a problem or develop your strategic thinking skills you may want to consider the queen of exploration tools: WEBBING.
One of the ways to remember this tool is by looking at Spiderman. Like Spiderman you can use the tool to move from building to building (question to question) having always a different perspective of the world (task). Why would you do that? You may want to better understand why things are the way they are. Or even look for what is the point of leverage for your future actions. Remember that every building (question) has insights (assumptions and details) that can help you understand your task more clearly – sometimes more objectively – and reach your target faster and with less effort. You need to become an in-depth inquisitive person (also called strategic thinker, innovator and coach) so as to assess questions by their value.
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