Tuesday, June 22, 2010


There is a lot said and written about continuous improvement. But most of it is done from a process perspective, for instance how to speed up processes, how to make them cheaper or how to make them easier.

That is fine, but still a major area is missing – the people, the relations side. This covers the relationship between (individual) employees and their managers. And also the relationships in teams. Employees should be encouraged to discuss with their managers, how the managers themselves can improve their behavior, their style, and their communications. This requires courage, trust and openness on both sides. If this is accepted and applied you will find that there will be many areas of improvement, which will have a huge positive impact on the atmosphere, motivation and culture in the organization.
Also within teams it is important to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Only if they are openly discussed you can create a team which operates like a team. Then you will clearly see where the individual team members are complementary to each other. An example is the football teams in the World Cup now. Does a team consist of mainly ego’s who only go for their individual goals (France, England) or is it a real collective force where everyone plays his role to support the team (The Netherlands, Paraguay)?

A prerequisite for being really open to each other is to have self-respect as well as respect for the others.
Is openness a natural practice in your organization?


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