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Chapter 1: Clients
Chapter 2: Customers
The Clients phase is all about embracing what you already know and empowering your organization to work on the things they already know they should do. This phase isn’t complicated…but it’s a crucial step to get started on your continuous improvement journey. That being said, you can implement the first phase with the following steps:
I recommend performing the steps in the order listed as an intuitive way to ensure you’re involving your entire organization, working on the most beneficial projects and transferring the collective knowledge of best practices.
This is where you make it official – you start embracing the improvement ideas from around your organization. You let everyone know that all improvement ideas are welcome. No idea is too small or too complicated. You explain that your organization wants to make things more efficient – saving money, increasing quality and reducing the time it takes to get things done.
A great way to get people thinking is to ask them to suggest ideas that would make their jobs easier. Many times the inefficiencies are obvious to someone that works a process day-in and day-out. Unfortunately, they usually don’t feel empowered to suggest an improvement – they assume the process is meant to function in a certain way, even if it’s inefficient, and that it isn’t part of their job to make any suggestions to improve it. This is when it becomes your job to make sure these people know they should suggest the improvement.
Another way to get ideas is to hold a contest with monthly or quarterly entries in the form of ideas submitted by anyone throughout your organization. You can give prizes for most ideas submitted and for the most effective ideas (the ideas that save the most money). In order to spur excitement and executive involvement, the prizes can be fun little things that senior leadership does with the winners. Things like lunch, happy hour, disco dress-up, etc., are all inexpensive things senior leaders can do to reward the ideas and create excitement.