The Importance of Leadership and Facilitation skills in Continuous Improvement cannot be overstated

One of the biggest challenges in the Continuous Improvement arena right now is the lack of Facilitation and Leadership skills of CI professionals.  This is a challenging problem on many levels.  I for one am concerned about the number of poorly qualified people hanging the Continuous Improvement Leader “shingle” on the wall, and frankly, most HR departments dont have a clue on how to tell a good candidate from a bad one.  Becoming a highly effective Process Improvement professional takes a lot of experience, knowledge, and leadership ability.Employers are interviewing and hiring from the large pool of “CI professionals”.  The problem is that many people have the technical knowledge of CI or Lean Six Sigma to do well at making it through the interview process.  They may have a Lean Certificate, or they are a Six Sigma Black Belt. They answer the technical questions, talk the CI talk…Kaizen, Process mapping, Metrics… However, employers are finding out the hard way that there is a key missing link in some of these candidates…The ability to lead and facilitate.

via The importance of Leadership and Facilitation skills in Continuous Improvement cannot be overstated.

6 thoughts on “The Importance of Leadership and Facilitation skills in Continuous Improvement cannot be overstated

  1. Hi! I discovered your blog today and I like your thoughts! There is also smth else missing in CI – a stronger link with individual development. Usually CI is linked with teams. organisations, but seldom it is acknowledged that any change should start with the change pf the individuals involved. Oterqise is hust one of the events under the name of “Today;e miracle!”.


    1. Hi Brian,Excellent question and exlneclet points. I think the case for leader standard work is simply sustainability of improvements and establishing a culture of accountability of continuous improvement. Systems that are so dependent upon human action and support naturally degrade (humans are fallable creatures). Leaders therefore need to add standardize-do-check-act (SDCA) to their daily activities (think of Imaii’s maintenance within his famous kaizen schematic) in order to ensure that processes and systems work, that new standard work is followed, etc. It’s NOT like the infomercial, Just set it and forget it. So, the gain is in the process adherence and performance that SDCA facilitates. It’s not real sexy, which may be a reason why leadership may not really seem to engage in it unless of course, their own leader demands it.Best regards,Mark


      1. Hi Andrew,Thanks for sharing again and brinigng other folks into the conversation! You certainly have great context here and it sounds like there’s some excellent energy around your lean launch in Bogota. Of course, you’re probably a pretty darn good lean coach as well!Yes, envisioning the ideal future state (I coach the team to a future state for a targeted date and typically do not do the ideal thing but it is often helpful to do both. Ideal first, then future state with targeted implementation date.) together is extremely powerful and I did not give it the billing that it deserves in the post. If we don’t get to a future state and a related improvement plan, our efforts end in a, So what? As in, Nice map. Is that it? As usual, great insights, Andrew.Best regards,Mark


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