Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
It sounds simple enough, but when you put it into practice, it’s actually sort of painful for most people. I mean, continuous improvement in your personal life means getting up an hour earlier to go running, taking those evening classes towards your degree while everybody else is watching Big Bang Theory, or spending your Saturday volunteering instead of vegging.
At work, continuous improvement means looking critically at ourselves as individuals, as a team and as a company to see how we can do better.
It takes some getting used to
At our internal meetings, I can tell you, nobody holds anything back! We’re not attacking each other. We’re just honest. Most company cultures push employees to be on the defensive. And they don’t want to call out problems or take responsibility for them. But if you’ve got a splinter in your finger, it’s better to grit your teeth and dig that sucker out, because if you leave it in, it will start to fester.
Identifying problems is just the first step
Next, each pain point or issue gets assigned to a department or person who will take action on it. After all, identifying issues is only useful if you take the steps to fix them.
The new normal
When your culture is one of continuous improvement, though, nobody gets offended. Nobody gets “punished.” We laugh it off. We remind each other. We nag each other. We know everybody’s busy and we can always do better. That’s the beauty.
And we celebrate our successes along the way, too– simple things like a quick cheer during a meeting or acknowledging and praising when internal improvement is done or congratulating that somebody who recently passed their certification exam – (Sue Knies, PMI-PBA®).
Yes, for a lot of people continuous improvement can be painful, but here at Solarity, we embrace it. We roll with it. We know it makes us better as a team and a company. And it helps make our clients better, too.
About the author
Sarah Sechrist joined to Solarity in 2012 as the Accounting and Office Manager. She was immediately drawn to the project management world and loves the atmosphere at Solarity. Sarah is known for getting things done and is passionate about our company. She ultimately helps Solarity keep all of our projects organized internally. Sarah currently serves at the Treasurer for the International Institute of Business Analysis, Bluegrass Chapter and actively shares her skills by volunteering with her church.
Our mission is to help people, organizations, and communities THRIVE! Our broad range of experience and knowledge in a range of different industries allows us to customize our approach to fit the situation. We work in total partnership with our clients to understand their business needs and the current environment, and then match the right amount of process to meet the culture and the project.