Executives and other business leaders must be constantly on the lookout for new ways of doing business, improving processes, innovating products and services, and creating novel organizational solutions. This is required in an increasingly competitive business environment
- Develop an appreciation of the need for continuous improvement and innovation.
- Develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to plan, organize, conduct, control, and evaluate planned, deliberate change based on continuous process and product improvements.
- Develop the skills to search for changes in the external and internal business environments with a view to finding opportunities for performance improvement or innovation.
- Understand and apply the full process of continuous improvement and innovation.
- Develop an appreciation of the need for leadership, focus, and constant learning, experimentation, trial and error, and adjustment.
Introduction to Continuous Innovation and Process Improvement
- How change and learning occur
- The competitive and strategic advantages of continuous improvement and innovation
- Problem-solving vs. performance-improvement vs. innovation
- Innovation and creativity
- Sources of change in the external and internal environments
- Deming continuous improvement cycle: Plan, Do, Check, Act
The Plan stage: Problem analysis and targeted improvement and innovation
- Approaches to problem identification and analysis: problem space definition, root-cause analysis, problem tree analysis
- Incremental vs. radical change
- Value chain analysis and process mapping
- Opportunity search and idea generation for innovation
- Brainstorming and idea mapping
- Lateral thinking and creativity
The Do stage: Developing and implementing changes and improvements
- Goal setting and prioritization
- Deliberate vs. experimental approaches
- Formalizing trial and error methods for continuous improvement and innovation
- Planning for implementation
- Organizing for implementation
- Test phases and pilot projects
The Check stage: Evaluating initiatives and deciding on project continuation
- Progress review structures and processes
- Description and reporting of results
- After-action review and lessons learned processes
- Performance metrics and measurement
- Evaluating and comparing results
- Maintaining focus on objectives and outcomes
The Act stage: Reacting, adjusting, and standardization
- Go/no go and resource decisions
- Dealing with the unexpected and obstacles
- Dealing with extreme failure or success
- Standardization and full-scale rollout of improvements and innovations
- Setting the example and leading the charge
- Motivation and morale in a world of constant and never-ending change