One of the most frustrating things that I experience in my process improvement work is when team progress stalls. There may be a lot of activity, but no real results. This can happen in many different ways.
Team members waste all their time arguing about what to do first. We have endless discussions about improvement ideas that never turn into action. Often, these discussions devolve into general gripe sessions with no real purpose.
On the other end of the spectrum, teams can find themselves with no clear ideas for improvement. We don’t make any progress because we don’t know what to work on.
There is one question that I have found to be extremely helpful in all of these situations.
Like many Americans across the country, I spent over an hour on Tuesday waiting in line for the opportunity to have my voice heard. This provided me with plenty of time to observe those around me. One thing that stood out was that the turnout was much larger than usual, which naturally led to a much longer wait.
While many voters expressed clear displeasure at the length of the line, I was filled with a sense of pride in my community. I’m happy to live in a community full of people that care about the country and want to do their part to help improve it in whatever way they feel is appropriate. They were willing to take an hour or more out of their day and invest it in the future of our government.
If only we could get our teams to be this engaged. We’ve covered in the past the best way to measure employee engagement as well as some strategies for engaging our teams and getting them to speak up. Today I would like to cover some thoughts from the voting line that can be applied to our teams and workplaces.