A wonderful time to be a manager – Really!
In this time of horror and hardship but also a time of wonder. What kind of management achieves change in this short time and can bake them in for the future? The answer is management who embrace Continuous Improvement; looking all around for the incremental as well as the big changes and ensuring they adopt the changes as the new norm.
This is a time of horror and hardship but also a time of wonder.
Although the Coronavirus COVID 19 has been the most terrible experience, from it is emerging many wonders from personal triumphs and achievements to continuous examples of management improvement and innovation in services, supply chains and people management; often created with the pressure of revolutionary thinking from below and licence to find solutions from above.
The hospitals managers who have discovered 3D printer capacity for facemasks on their doorstep wondering what else that could provide in future?
The council managers who picked every homeless person off our streets in just over a week into hotels and are wondering why they did not do this before and if they can use the time to keep the homeless permanently off the street?
The HR managers who had to redeploy staff, furlough others and review skills sets wondering how to keep the brilliant staff who have stepped up working in new ways.
The fashion companies’ directors adapting production to make PPE wondering what else they could make when they are not chasing fashion trends?
The midwife consultants at a single south Wales hospital who set up an online advice service for their pregnant women, that has been rolled out to all of Wales in weeks not months wondering why this was not done years ago?
The millions of staff and their companies working from home, doing things they always thought demanded face to face time finding that Zoom is good enough for some, perhaps quite a lot of those meetings and wondering how much work really needs office time and commuting?
The City leaders looking at air pollution reduction and wondering what they can do to make that permanent?
All the things that have been reorganised, redeployed, refocussed, in a matter of weeks. Many of the solutions requiring nothing more than lateral thinking. All that experience, can it be built into a wave of continuous improvement by management challenged by extreme pressure against immovable deadlines.
This has also been a time of insurrection. The threat of revolt from below if those on high did not listen to innovation or seek unconventional routes to solutions has undoubtedly supported the innovators.
What kind of management achieves these changes in this short time and can bake them in for the future? The answer is management who embrace Continuous Improvement; looking all around for the incremental as well as the big changes and ensuring they adopt the changes as the new norm. That is why there is an Institute promoting continuous improvement so that reform is baked in and not lost as with so many initiatives.
Realistically many of the fixes for the Virus cannot be permanent or become normal. Too many depend on unsustainable levels of staff commitment, risk in the case of health staff, and volunteers or open budgets. But a great deal can and should be learned and retained. This is the challenge of continuous improvement.
We have all seen wonderful examples of often incremental but critical innovation. Send us your examples of innovation and improvement lessons from the COVID 19 emergency and how you think these can become a permanent feature in future working, supplying, commissioning and delivering of products and services. We will drive an online conversation on ICiPS and City View to highlight them and help bake in the achievements arising from these difficult weeks.
The ICIPS Continuous Improvement conference, Thursday 9th July – with options to join on line – will provide an ideal moment to share, assess and not lose the momentum for service and supply improvement.
See if you can spot the two continuous improvements in booking options that have been built into this new event model? and we look forward to hearing improvements from your own experience. Register on our website