Taiichi Ohno, the man considered to be the father of Toyota’s production system, said “Don’t look with your eyes, look with your feet… people who only look at the numbers are the worst of all.” Ohno was referring to the movement that’s needed for growth. And at the basis of that is the desire for continual improvement. In an industry that both services people and uses technology, things are always changing – because people and technology are always changing. To ensure your practice is running as efficiently and successfully as possible, look at creating an ‘ideas culture’ among your team, so you can continue to improve and move forward. Nothing will ever be perfect. All you can do is just keep moving towards it. Because progress is its own kind of perfection.
Encourage bold thinking.
Live by the old adage ‘there are no bad ideas’. If your staff think they can voice feedback and ideas without judgement, they will more likely to do so – and will also be more likely to come up with something great. Just don’t expect every idea to be perfect.
Offer time and space.
Provide time and resources for your staff to formalise their feedback and come up with some solutions. This will force them to be more aware of how they work, and think about ways to improve processes and workflows. Putting a framework around this – such as setting aside time in their diary, having team meetings or setting up a forum – lets them know you’re serious about hearing their ideas, and that you value their input.
If someone voices a good idea, be sure to act on it. Their motivation to think creatively will start to wane if they feel as though their ideas will never come to fruition. And besides, if you are being provided great ideas for improvement and progress, why wouldn’t you take them?