Feedback – A River Of Ideas

Every process that you have put in place has been a finished process.  No changes needed.  Which number below best matches your answer?

  1. Right.
  2. Right?
  3. There may have been a few exceptions.
  4. All of them change over time.

If your answer was number one, you can stop reading.  Number two, you have some research to do.  Number three, you might also want do to a little checking.  If you selected number four, you live in the real world.  Keep on reading.

There are a few different ways to get feedback.

  • You can talk to people involved in different steps in a process, singly or in groups.  This is a very good idea.
  • You can walk through steps in a process or a whole process with one or more people.  This is called Gemba.  Also a great idea.
  • You can provide an easy way for people to submit ideas for improvements and new processes.  Again, very positive.
  • You can create a culture that encourages feedback and new ideas.  One that rewards people for making positive changes for the customer, other staff members, and the company.  In my opinion, this is the best idea.

The first three items are things that you can do right now, anywhere, at any time.  You don’t even have to be tracking down a problem.  In fact, if you just show up out of the blue and start asking how you can make people’s lives better, you will immediately start down the road of the fourth point.  If you follow through.  All of the first three items will help you with the fourth.

In my experience, people are looking to contribute and help.  They are looking for a conduit that allows them to do so.  Think of it like a river.  A river starts as one or more  streams.  And it gets larger as it goes along and more streams join it.  It works the same way with positive change.  You have to work at making sure there is nothing damming or blocking those streams or the river.  Because those are ideas flowing down that river.  Sure, some of them might not be great or feasible right now, but some of them will be pure gold.

Get them out into the flow where you can use them.

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