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January 2008 - Management: Continually Improve the Process

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.

January 2008

Management: Continually Improve the Process

Last month's column said managers must eliminate process interference factors, but successful managers also search for better ways of doing things.  They are not content to simply fight fires and manage crises; they improve the process by implanting productive change.

Implementing process change is often difficult. Managers of change may hear such killer phrases as "We've always done it this way," or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Combat these attitudes by putting "it" in perspective. Find examples of how we once believed something would never work, but we were wrong. Agree that the old way was good for its time, but give concrete facts and examples of how conditions have changed. Show how the basic assumptions of doing business have changed.

People need to understand their part in implementing change and how they will fit into the organization after change occurs. This last point is important because those people who help implement change and know their role after the change more likely will be supportive of the change and work to make it happen.

Where do managers get the ideas for change? While they may generate ideas themselves or get them from reading trade journals or from others who manage similar processes, they often come from their own subordinates—the people they manage. Managers can (and should) learn from subordinates.  Then they should put the best ideas into practice to continually improve the process.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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