Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen are tools to solve problems, but they’re only part of a bigger picture

Organizations that want to improve company process and performance often invest in Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen training for their executives and employees. They’ll put up metric boards. They’ll identify problems and solve them. Employees are sometimes engaged in the process and sometimes green or black belts with Six Sigma certification will help. And yet 64 percent of executives surveyed by CEB felt that they were not getting the results they expected from their CI / Lean programs. In short, they invested in these programs, but were still leaving a lot of money on the table.

What are they missing?

Problem solving with Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen doesn’t automatically create high performance work teams. Yet many businesses mistake these tools for employee engagement and team building. That’s not to say they made a bad investment. These tools are incredibly useful. It’s just that they’re only working on a small piece of a larger performance-improving puzzle.

High performance work teams achieve and exceed desired results by engaging the entire team

High performance work teams (HPWTs) engage the entire team in continuous performance improvement. It’s not just about solving problems, but aligning around organizational goals, communicating about progress, and prioritizing problems whose solutions will bring high-impact results.

Every member of the team is accountable for a specific function

Each member of a HPWT has a specific role for which they are accountable. The talents and skills of each member of the team complement one another and produce outstanding results when the team is able to collaborate and innovate around organizational goals and performance improvement.

The team is led by need, not a single person

There is no single team lead because each member of the team is able to take on that role when their skills and expertise are needed. The team is in constant communication and has a solid communication infrastructure to ensure that communication isn’t disruptive.

High performance work teams always prioritize organizational goals

Goals are not set by individuals or even team leaders. In a high performance work team environment, leaders set the organizational goals and break them down into measurable indicators that every member of the team can understand, take ownership, and be held accountable.

Problem solving processes are utilized to continuously improve the results of the process

When conflicts or issues arise, HPWTs work together to solve them not for the benefit of the team or one of its members, but in alignment with the priorities and goals of the organization as a whole.

Organizational culture creates high performance work teams, not problem-solving tools

A high performance work team isn’t just a group of people who have been trained to solve problems. It’s a group of people who work together seamlessly in an environment that pulls for continuous performance. The team dynamic is what allows them to meet and exceed organizational goals.

If your organization is full of problem-solvers and you’re still not seeing the expected results, high performance work teams may be what you’re missing. The Dorsey Group specializes in building these teams in organizations of every size and industry. Contact us today and discover how we can help you achieve true continuous performance improvement.