There is a process that I learned when I interned with a consulting firm in the early nineties. This process has held me in good stead in my own consulting practice and has been a continuous valuable tool for my clients.
The process is the ‘continuous improvement process’ and it includes the use of many words that begin with the letters ‘re’ word such as review, renew, relearn and more.
Continuous improvement requires a consistent intention to evaluate what has worked, what hasn’t and what can be done the next time around.
Many leaders get trapped by the focus on perfection – they put tremendous pressure on themselves to be perfect and then impose impossible expectations on co-workers or employees to be perfect which causes unnecessary stress for all and high rates of turnover of employees who feel demotivated.
When the focus is on continuous improvement for the leader and for the team it creates a high performing environment Continuous improvement is naturally motivating for everyone as the focus is on what can be improved and on learning and growing in the process.
The components of a continuous improvement process include:
– Consistent focus on reviewing what has worked, what hasn’t worked so well and what to do next with what was learned
– When focusing on what to do next it is an opportunity to brainstorm and creatively share ideas based on the information gathered in the review of what worked and what didn’t
– The macro version of the continuous improvement process is on the business overall, the team and the department and the micro is bringing the process to individual performance discussions
-Leaders who focus on continuous improvement for their employees create a performance culture and an environment of ‘shared leadership’ where employees are naturally empowered to take responsibility for his or her performance
The value of reviewing what worked and what can be done better is also a fantastic personal performance tool that I use regularly to stay focused on continuous improvement.