If you’re like a lot of leaders, you can probably name several things off the top of your head that your business could be doing faster, more efficiently or just plain better. Continuous improvement is part of the adapt-or-die mindset that you have to take in an ultracompetitive business climate that has only been complicated by the recent economic recession. If you’re not improving, you’re committing a sin of omission and allowing your company to backslide through inaction. So how do you consistently push ahead and promote a culture of continuous improvement? Below are some thoughts from leaders who have recently appeared in the pages of Smart Business Philadelphia.
“You do need to be able to visualize the concept of what you can be as an organization,” he says. “You start really thinking about tomorrow and how it has to be inspiring for everyone. But it has to be understandable, we have to stretch for it, and we have to make sure that the messages are crisp and simple and something that becomes compelling in terms of what our purpose is and how we can rally support to achieve that vision.”
--Laurence Merlis, president and CEO, Abington Health
“There are a couple of books out there, like ‘Good to Great,’ but they won’t give you the details and development, how to actually put a plan together. You really need some support and structure and someone to take you through the process. Once they’ve gone through once or twice and shown you how, you and your team can take the ball and run with it.”
--John Scardapane, founder, chairman and CEO, Saladworks LLC
“I was asked years and years ago how I looked at a company that I was getting ready to operate, and I said, ‘I’ll look at a wall, and on that wall are all these different knobs I can turn. Every single knob can create a dynamic that would give us more opportunity and profitability, but I know that if I turn too many, we flood.’ So that whole idea of goal setting, it comes more to an understanding of what level of patience should be applied. You make sure that you’re accelerating the opportunity, but the people in the facilities are able to keep up and enjoy it at an appropriate rate.”
--Marc Graham, president and CEO, AAMCO Transmissions Inc.
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