We’re concluding this month’s blog series on building accountability with what every leader should know when doing process improvement—teaching people how to build a process.
Teach people to build, not just follow
In process improvement, you are not just giving people a checklist and telling them to follow it. You are educating them on why this checklist exists, how it affects other people, and its importance so that they can notice and feel that their job is being improved.
As I often say, this work does not teach people how to follow a process. Process improvement teaches people how to build a process.
It involves employees at all levels of an organization in the improvement process. It’s providing them with an engine to turn their ideas on how to improve your operations into action.
Building Your Company Way
The secret sauce in the success of process improvement is your special way of doing things—not replicating The Toyota Way or any other successful company’s way of doing things. I do not tell companies I am working with what they should do. I teach them how to do it.
Creating a system for process improvement requires you to teach your people how to build your own unique processes that are all packaged together under your company’s way.
Getting your employees to buy into process improvement is easier when they take part in building processes—when they see their ideas get implemented and see their individual contributions create an impact on the entire organization.
It’s a long game
Making your people accept more individual responsibility and take ownership of your processes often takes time and effort. You have to make sure your expectations are realistic. You have to positively reinforce changes. You have to continue listening and serving your people to make sure they have the support they need.
And lastly, building accountability does not only require having your employees follow your processes but also teaching them how to build them. The cultural change that happens when people begin to take more personal accountability over your processes can enormously help in ensuring the success of your process improvements.
In love and respect,