Exercise for Continuous Improvement

    According to analytical agencies, in 2012, companies spent nearly $ 300 billion on training, seminars and conferences. And next year they plan to spend even more. Why do companies spend so much money? Probably because they believe that these investments will help employees to develop professionally, and therefore do their job better. But is there really such a relationship? Does the manager who attended the training on managing people really start to manage better? Communicating with people who attended the trainings, and thinking about myself, I discovered a sad fact. After a while, most of what was heard and tested during the training is forgotten and not applied in practice. It happens that after training you find yourself in a situation in which you behave differently from what you were taught. And why do you think this happened? I was taught how to behave. I will express my opinion why this happens, and what can be done about it.

    Having been involved in sports for many years, I found an analogy with him. Consider a cool football player who gives out phenomenal passes and performs accurate shots on goal. In order for him to be able to do this freely, he spent many hours and performed thousands (and maybe millions) of exercises. These thousands of exercises helped him to bring passes and strikes to automatism. And during the game he does not think about them. Let's go back to our trainings and imagine that this football player, before becoming cool, attended the training, where he was given a complete theory of shots, passes and conducted several practical exercises. After that, he was simply sent to play a lot, hoping that everything he learned in one day would be applied on the field. Personally, I do not believe that in such a situation he would become cool. But with traditional corporate training this is exactly what happens.

    In order not to look like a football player who attended the training once, you need to perform regular exercises that will help to consolidate and bring to automatism the skills and knowledge from the trainings. Once, I don’t remember where and when, I heard about one such thing. I will share them.

    The center of the exercise is a memory card, the elements of which are questions and areas on which you need to work. Those. need to wonder. what I want to improve, what I need to constantly think about and where there may be problems. The exercise is to open this card every day before starting work and remind yourself of problem areas. Of course, just looking at the map is not enough, you need to strive to bring it to life. And how to do it, another story. This exercise fits very well with the Japanese Kaizen philosophy, the essence of which is continuous improvement.

    Consider a specific example on a manager who seeks to constantly improve himself and the environment for which he is responsible. Suppose he identifies several areas for improvement: personal qualities, processes, teams and personal time management. And for each direction he asks specific questions and topics. The map may look like this.


    You can draw up a similar map based on your goals and objectives.

    I will assume that such an exercise is not for everyone, but before denying it, I urge you to try it. There is a chance that you will like it. It will be interesting to see the comments of those who try.

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