Companies like ours use processes and systems to ensure consistent delivery of service to our customers. These systems and processes are employed to ensure the needs of the customer are accurately ascertained, the work is done in a consistent and efficient manner, it’s free from errors and is delivered on time. So over time we end up with a comprehensive list of work instructions and systems that work well, and the company runs smoothly.
The problem is that these days nothing stays still for long, so a process or system that is right today, may well not be right for tomorrow. So unfortunately even the best systems can fall down from time to time. When they do it’s too easy to go looking for the person who made the mistake. We have all been subjected to the dreaded “search for the guilty and punishment of the innocent syndrome” The problem is this creates a culture of hiding mistakes, much less owning up to them. In this sort of culture continuous improvement gives way to continuous abdication.
Companies like ours recognize the need to have a continuous improvement effort focused on improving the entire business, they embrace the mistakes and errors that result from inadequate, incorrect or outdated processes so they can be corrected, developed and improved. They don’t look for someone to blame for the problem, they instead actively search for the person that understands the problem, they then analyze it; determine the issue; discuss how to eliminate it; implement the change; and move on.
This creates a culture of continuous improvement, one where the inevitable challenges are embraced and corrected. And who wouldn’t prefer to work in an environment where the focus is on the process, not the person…