The power of ask­ing ques­tions to lead im­prove­ment in your busi­ness

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - LUBRICANTS -

re­veal, un­lock, in­spire and ex­pose.

In this book I found sev­eral such ques­tions, with the first one only six pages in.

“Could you give us one or two ex­am­ples of im­prove­ments that you have car­ried out re­cently?” is one of the most sub­tle ‘can­not hide any­where’ ques­tions in the book. I think ev­ery busi­ness needs to ask this ques­tion.

This book has a num­ber of ques­tions that will make you stop and re­flect. What would re­ally make th­ese ques­tions even more ef­fec­tive is if the en­tire team de­cided to tackle them in a team meet­ing.

The trap of mis­tak­ing move­ment for mo­men­tum

In the sec­tion to­wards the end of the book ti­tled The Ef­fi­ciency Para­dox, Ahlstrom al­ludes to a trap where peo­ple spend their time at work look­ing busy and think­ing that is what re­ally counts. This way of think­ing cre­ates what Ahlstrom de­scribes as “ef­fi­cient is­lands in an ocean of in­ef­fec­tive­ness.”

I’ve met some busi­nesses like this. I won’t name them, but if you’re read­ing this you will know I’m talk­ing about you.

If you want to im­prove…

The real value of this book comes in the prac­ti­cal sec­tion: Start­ing Your Jour­ney To­ward Be­ing the Best in the World. Ahlstrom chal­leng­ing us, in a nice way, to take a self-as­sess­ment sur­vey by shar­ing a Cur­rent State Anal­y­sis as­sess­ment tool. He opens this sec­tion by say­ing, “If you want to im­prove your im­prove­ment work, this cur­rent state anal­y­sis is a per­fect way to start.”

I’ve al­ways found th­ese ‘self­assess­ment’ tools a chal­lenge. Why? Be­cause I strug­gle to be bru­tally hon­est by re­spond­ing in the way I think I need to – just in case some­one reads my re­sponse. Hav­ing said that, this 20 ques­tion sur­vey was re­fresh­ingly… sim­ple (there’s that word again). I could see this Cur­rent State Anal­y­sis tool re­ally be­ing help­ful for any busi­ness look­ing to lift their game in con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment.

What’s my fi­nal ver­dict?

Easy to fol­low ad­vice on how to cre­ate and sus­tain a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment in a busi­ness. The mean­ing­ful, mea­sur­able re­sult will be found in cre­at­ing a greater value ex­pe­ri­ence for your cus­tomer.

Af­ter all, at the end of the day, isn’t hav­ing rav­ing fan cus­tomers (both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal) what we re­ally want to achieve in busi­ness? With rav­ing fans our busi­ness is in­sured of be­ing around for a long time.

Avail­able via Ama­zon. USD17.37 hard cover or USD11.99 e-book.

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