By William Singleton

In my office space, we look to create processes that are sustainable and reflect the best way to perform routine tasks. We look at how we utilize our space and ask are we creating products and programs that aren’t being utilized. Because we do a lot of flexing based on customer’s need, we don’t create such rigid processes that prevent us from meeting their need. That said, we still find great value in the premise that we can “find a better way every day,” as the late, great Jack Welch always said.

I know there are many programs within the animal care community that have formally and publicly embrace “Lean Culture” and I am sure there are many more that are interested in giving it a try. In full disclosure, I am not a formal lean practitioner, but I completely believe in and have develop a mindset of “better everyday.”

What I want to do is create a compelling case for the adoption of a culture of continuous improvement in those areas of your work where it makes most sense. If the idea of lean is not for you, consider how you and your team can embrace the basic concept that all of us have the capacity to get a little better every day.

So why continuous improvement? To improve efficiencies and maximizes resources and profits.

On any given day, there is a lot of work to be done and often with limited resources or time to get it done. How are you going to get it all accomplished in ways that are most productive without driving yourself and your team to exhaustion and frustration?

The pace of innovation is blistering. Our ability to recognize when improvement is needed is critical to our success, the success of our organization and the advancement of science that is good and life-saving. And, if that’s not reason enough… all of the cool kids are doing it.

Question Everything
A culture of continuous improvement allows you the permission to stop and look at what is really happening in the office or the animal facility and ask a few simple but profound questions.

  • What works?
  • What doesn’t work?
  • What works but takes to long to get done?
  • What works but we don’t need to be doing any more?
  • What’s not working but should be?
  • What are we trying to get to work that should be eliminated?

The process isn’t easy. Being honest about what you do well and not so well is a challenge. Looking for ways to improve when things are going pretty good is equally challenging.

However, this is the privilege of the corner office: looking for ways to improve the people and processes around you. What can you do today that will help you and your team get just a little bit better?

Reposted from ALN Magazine

AuthorWilliam Singleton