SPL Consuluting The power of TRIPLE E
The Power of TRIPLE E in supporting Strategic and Lean Initiatives
As I work with Leadership Teams across the country, we often talk about experiences and concerns of not being able to create and sustain lasting change through Strategic and Lean efforts. When SPL Consulting, LLC. works with clients, this is a primary focus of conversation on how to drive transformational change. Achieving lasting change and the performance improvement that comes with it, comes from a culture that has a number of core leadership principles consistently required of and applied by leaders.
I’ve recently been summing many of these behaviors into what I call The Power of TRIPLE E:
Let’s break it down. First, there is Engagement. What does that mean? There are many approaches to achieve this end, but here are a few examples you can apply in your business. Spend time with your team in their work environment and ask them how the machine is running or if there are any issues causing them grief. Listen to them and capture their thoughts, then, now this is important, take some action. When leaders hear their team and do something based upon their input, team members are more likely to be engaged in not only the daily tasks involved in their role but helping improve them. Another important step to propagate Engagement that is often lost in the shuffle is to close the loop. Be sure to let team members know when you’ve acted on their ideas. I’ve heard from numerous client team members that “we bring things up, but nothing is ever done”. When I share this feedback with the leaders, I often uncover action has been taken but the team was unaware.
Next is Empowerment. When leadership teams master this, great things are destined to happen. The challenge is to create guidelines on what your team can do on their own and still control risk to the business. In one of the businesses I led, we established three basic criteria for when anyone could take action. If the change cost less than $500, only affected the department they were in and didn’t create a safety or quality issue, they could make the change without approval. We required they close the loop and share results of a change so it could be validated and become part of standard work. As the great Dr. Deming used to say, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” When the team began to trust we really meant what we said, many incremental improvements began to happen that didn’t require leadership oversight! This freed up more time for leaders to lead and resulted in improved performance. By establishing and developing this culture you are building an army of problem solvers.
The final element in TRIPLE E is Execution. This can be the one of the bigger challenges for many companies. It is key to setting the example and expectation for what you want from other members of your team. Leadership always, always, always…starts at the top. Said another way, establishing a culture of doing what you say you are going to do even when it is hard, or you get busy, is a leadership responsibility that sets the stage for others. Do what it takes to follow through. Leader Standard Work (LSW) is a great tool in the Lean toolbox to help your leadership team maintain focus on executing and sustaining key actions over the course of time.
Are you effectively harnessing The Power of TRIPLE E? If you want to explore this approach further, please feel free to reach out.
Brian Van de Water, CEO, SPL Consulting, LLC.