11 Operational excellence

The approaches to and Practice of Continuous Improvement

The world of operations improvement initiatives is confusing. It is difficult to isolate fads from breakthroughs and find what the company needs to move ahead toward the new paradigm: the learning organization. Knowing your learning assets and liabilities and understanding what each initiative can contribute is essential to avoid the “me too,” flavor of the month syndrome.

11.1 Toward operational excellence

Beware of management consultant bearing brand new business cards with catchy and intriguing new schemes.  In other words, beware of management fads, but don’t throw away the baby with the bath water either. Plot an adapted path towards operational excellence.  There are several good reference model out there: select the one that best fit your reality and needs.   Give it your brand name.  Eclecticism is best.

Key concepts: Operational initiatives, management fads, one size does not fit all, the soft – the hard – the strategic, the dimensions of the learning organization, maturity levels