The power of asking questions to lead improvement in your business
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.