Harnessing the Power of Improvement
1. Discovering better ways to work: As customers, competitors, and the broader economic and social systems, the whole enterprise must continually think about how today's ways of working and managing could improve. To guide the inquiry, people will need a clear sense of what "better" means - the ideal that the organization is reaching toward - as well as the untarnished view of current conditions and the ability to work with others to close gaps without fear or reprisal. Problem identification and resolution must become a part of everyone's job description, supported by structures to ensure that problems flow to the people best able to solve them.
2. Delivering value efficiently to the customer: Every organization must start by understanding what customers truly value - and where, when, how, and why as well. It must then configure how it works so that it can deliver exactly that value, no more and no less, with the fewest resources possible, improving coordination, eliminating redundancy, and building quality into every process. The cycle of listening, learning and responding never ends, as the customer's evolving needs reveal new opportunities to attack waste, create new worth, and build a sustainable competitive advantage.
3. Enabling People to lead and contribute to their fullest potential: The organizations that get
the most from their people provide them with support mechanisms so that they can truly master their work, whether at the front line or in the boardroom. Revamped physical space fosters collaboration, visual-management techniques let everyone see what needs to be done, targeted coaching builds capabilities, and simple “job aids” reinforce standards. These and other changes enable employees to own their own development, without leaving them to figure it out by themselves.
4. Connecting strategy, goals, and meaningful purpose: Organizations that endure operate from a clear direction- a vision of what the organization is for, which in turn shapes their strategy and objectives in ways that give meaning to daily work. At every level, starting with the CEO, leaders articulate the strategy and objectives in ways that their people can understand and support. The final step aligns individual goals to the strategy and vision, with the result that people fully understand their role in the organization and why it matters.