Continuous improvement in your Business
Have you ever asked yourself what 1% change in your business would do to the improve cash flow or your business?
As a Business Mindset Coach this is one area I work with regularly. I’m often asked “Does Continuous improvement mean continual change, for the sake of change?”
The simple answer is NO. A far better strategy is applying 1% changes to specific areas within your business for growth. 1% doesn’t seem like much, yet when it is applied, it creates a ripple, an effect that goes through your whole business, and creates greater change.
Continuous improvement in any business strategy is effective and it streamlines work whilst reducing waste, provides clues to more efficient processes, increases safety and allows you to provide a better customer experience. It is a model I have used as a manager and when coaching others. For me it is an essential way to run a business.
The Kaizen model is a synonym for continuous improvement. Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that believes change is good. Kai means change and zen means good. Whilst there are actually more steps, it is noted that the three main points of kaizen. These are key to any business success, and always areas I review with my clients. The three area are:
- Feedback: A core principle of the process that involves self-reflection.
- Efficiency: Identify, reduce or eliminate anything that gets in the way of the process.
- Evolution: Kaizen depends on incremental, continuous development instead of a great leap forward.
If you look at all three points, they don’t appear to be anything in their own right. Yet when you do each one on a regular basis it makes a huge change. These seemingly everyday improvements can make the success of your business. It is the incremental changes, the slow and steady progress that is the most innovative. These small changes allow them to become habits, ones that create results, and enable you to ride though any external forces.
What would happen if you applied 1% extra effort to providing feedback? Providing feedback that is both constructive and positive?
Communication is key in all of the steps. In business often one of our biggest hurdles is the way we communicate ideas to others. Yet this is core to our success. Communication in this instance is to staff, colleagues, and potential clients. If we make improvements to that communication, we will see a greater take up of our services/products. Try changing just 1% – one small change each week.
Continuous improvement cycle
What would happen if you sought out feedback form others? Asked them how you were going, what they liked, or what they didn’t like. I did that recently and a project I’m working on, and I received some very constructive feedback. In the first instance, I heard a voice in my head saying “Oh, who is she to say that. What’s her limiting beliefs? How dare she” then I stopped and listened to the words I was telling myself, and how I was making excuses and actually working below the line. So I stopped and read the lines again. They were good. They helped.
How many times does this happen in your business?