Written by Steve Roger, Global Managing Director of Lauras International
Erica recently shared a great blog on how manufacturing professionals can find ‘hidden zones‘ by exploring their strengths and weaknesses. This week, I’d like to examine this subject in some further detail…
A key requirement to enabling the delivery of manufacturing improvement is to measure where we are. The common statement made is “what you don’t measure, you can’t improve”.
This is often a key aspect in audits or using KPIs to measure and drive performance.
Following these audits, the focus is often on improving the “weak” areas: a valid and essential approach if the “weak” area is not at the certain, required level. However, to continue to focus on weak areas to match performance in other stronger areas may in fact be a mistake.
In studies (Corp Leadership Council) of 20,000 people across multiple organisations, the results revealed that when people focused on their strengths, performance increased by 36% – whereas when they focused on a weakness, performance dropped by 27% (CLC 2002).
All manufacturing organisations have individuals with diverse talents and strengths. Leveraging and building on the strengths of the individuals within a team actually minimises the impact of the “weaknesses” in other members, and typically fosters both greater engagement and greater commitment.
Often the barrier to Continuous Improvement is individuals resisting changing their behaviours. Encouraging individuals to focus on what they do well, and can do more of, results in positive outcomes and increased motivation -which often makes individuals more receptive to adopting new behaviours.
Ultimately, being open about and understanding the strengths of different team members helps a team to better leverage their collective strengths. If you’d like help with identifying, measuring, and managing your team’s strengths – get in touch and start improving your manufacturing performance today.