Many, if not most organizations make attempts to improve their work. But no matter which specific methods predominate, almost all of these initiatives aimed at gaining greater efficiency, quality, speed, and/or customer delight have two important things in common:
- They generally produce some improvements
- Then they peter out
For an organization to go through a cultural change so that continuous improvement becomes the new way of working (not just a one-time ‘program’), we need to pay close attention to the ‘soft’ part of the improvement model.
This will enable us to smooth the path, remove the obstacles, and continue to lead, communicate, and motivate both emotionally and intellectually.
Following are six common causes of discontinuous improvement:
- Neglecting aligning individual or team goals with those of the organization
- Insufficient communication between management, the workforce, project teams and CI leaders
- Delegating leadership, which is a responsibility that should stay with senior management
- Manager’s or Sponsor’s failure to remove obstacles
- Lack of quick success
- Letting-up on the “gas” when initial results are made