The modern world in which we live changes rapidly. The processes of years past – the time-tested, proven processes which have been serving your organization for decades – may not be the best processes for the future. These same processes, however, can also be difficult to change. The best thing your organization can do to improve the quality of your deliverables is to create a culture of continuous improvement.
One way to encourage a culture of continuous improvement is to create a reoccurring meeting where new ideas can be brought up for discussion.
A successful meeting will include the following characteristics:
Open Invitation: Everyone in the organization should be invited and encouraged to participate. When individuals know that their ideas will be considered and that they have an opportunity to guide the direction of the organization, creative thoughts will flourish.
Regular Schedule: Attending this meeting should be a priority. Establishing the meeting to reoccur on a monthly basis will help everyone to plan to attend and to be prepared for the discussion.
Familiar Procedures: Develop processes for introducing, completing, and implementing new items. These processes will encourage items to be completed in a timely fashion and to be implemented by the entire team. After all, there’s no reason to invest resources into a process that is never completed or implemented.
Documentation: It will be important to take notes during these discussions for several reasons. Teammates that are unable to attend a meeting will need to catch up on the discussion before the next meeting. Future teammates may need to understand the history of corporate processes. It’s also helpful to review the development of individual processes as they are continually refined through the years.
Accountability: Team members should feel responsible for developing their ideas into processes, and the group should feel responsible to assist whenever needed. Deadlines should be established and items should be completed in a timely manner.
When your organization recognizes the positive impact that a continual improvement effort can produce, the effects can be highly motivating. This activity will help both spurn creativity and prevent stagnation. Coming together as an organization on a regular basis to discuss new ideas and improvements to your processes, products, and services is a great first step in making an ongoing commitment to quality.