A very good friend of mine once told me that they weren’t really process driven and didn’t really use any improvement tools and techniques.
She then went on to prove herself completely wrong by describing how she arranged and facilitated a works-wide recognition event using a detailed excel spreadsheet that listed all the jobs that had to be done in the months, weeks and days prior to the event to ensure the event happened as smoothly as possible. The spreadsheet was then subject to review afterwards and improved for the next event.
It reminds me of a supermarket and everyday shopping and the sight of most shoppers gripping a list as if their lives depended on it (I certainly do; Mrs G would keelhaul me if I returned with the wrong stuff!) Many shoppers putting their shopping away in different bags depending on whether they are cold or frozen and some even storing them according to how they will put them away at home.
All the above are examples where we all naturally use improvement tools and techniques in our everyday life without even realising it.
How we arrange our garages and kitchen. How we sort our washing and do the dishes. Even how everyday entertainment such as your TV (whether it is Sky, Netflix or dear old Aunty) is organised to ensure you have a great viewing experience.
Watch most successful businesses and at the heart of their processes lie well organised and arranged routines that support what they are doing and trying to achieve. Nothing is left to chance.
One of the key cornerstones of my training at British Steel is how we can and should use everyday examples from outside work to help us improve the way we operate at work. Nobody is suggesting you move a blast furnace or mill. But we should always look to how we can organise and arrange our working lives and processes to feed the beast that is the steel plant!