Sophie Evans - HR Professional
As a business owner or leader, I bet you are constantly thinking of and planning ways to continuously improve your business? Well of course, that’s what a great business thinker should be doing but it doesn’t always have to involve grand, long term plans that involve huge capital expenditure. Improving your business can be as easy as finding small improvements every day.
2 Second Lean
Paul Akers 2 Second Lean concept is a tool you can apply to make a difference in your business and continuously improve today.
This concept involves making improvements every day – even those as small as 2 seconds – with the goal that every little change improves the business by removing the waste in your day to day life.
Waste Not, Want Not
When it comes to waste, this concept isn’t just referring to the stuff that ends up in the bin. Waste is any step or action in a process that is not required to complete a process successfully. When we remove waste, only the steps that are required to deliver a satisfactory product or service to the customer remain.
There are 8 common wastes in business:
To implement this concept all you need to do is encourage your employees to constantly think of small 2 second improvements. Some businesses even challenge their employees to think of a 2 second improvement every single day. It’s really quite simple - it just needs to be something that can be implemented in 24/48 hours and not involve a high cost.
To help your employees start to think in terms of improvements, you might ask a few simple questions to prompt them, such as:
One example of a simple 2 second lean improvement that has significantly impacted a business in a positive manner is as follows:
A client faced a problem whereby there were constant interruptions for the staff member responsible for guillotining customers work. This team member needed to concentrate on precision cutting as well as preparing multiple jobs for a quality control and packing department. She was continually interrupted with requests of small but important urgent jobs. These urgent jobs needed to be done, but the constant interruptions caused mistakes in guillotining as well as lost time in productivity. Frustrations were building.
By applying the principles of 2 Second Lean, they came up with the idea of marking out with tape a section on the cutting table for any urgent work. Packing staff would come and place the required urgent job in this section and not interrupt the staff member guillotining. The staff member was able to focus properly on her specific task without fear of interruption, and she played her part in helping her colleagues by checking the urgent work area in between all scheduled jobs.
This was a great outcome - no more errors, productivity increased, and urgent jobs were completed in the required time frames. Everyone was happy! Ultimately, this was a low-cost solution that actually saved this company money and more importantly increased productivity. As a business leader, that’s the Utopian solution!
Keep it Rolling
Once you are making 2 second changes in your business and your team are heard and feel valued, they will look for improvements without prompting. It’s infectious.
So, if you are looking to get some wins on the board with improved productivity and reduced waste – not to mention a side order of increased team engagement, small consistent tiny 2 second improvements can make big differences to your business. We’re certainly not the expert in 2 second lean, but we are always helping our clients engage their team in business improvements and solutions, so if you want some help in this area, feel free to give us a call. If you’re super excited about this specific concept – click here to find a format of 2 Second Lean that you can download free!
We wish you much success in implementing business improvements!
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