One of the questions I try to answer when giving a session on continuous improvement is:
Why does continuous improvement matter?
Let me try to summarize my personal view in 7 bullet points:
- I think most of us realize that no matter how hard we plan in advance, we will always make mistakes. If this is unavoidable, we must make sure we learn from our mistakes and use these insights to our advantage.
- Continuous improvement helps us to stay critical to what we’re doing. Slowly but true, we grow a mindset that is constantly looking for change.
- This mindset helps us to keep on learning. A critical success factor in the health of an organization.
- When we’re open for change and critical of what we’re doing, we are much more likely to adapt to change. We discover new technologies, new business opportunities, better ways of collaborating, higher levels of efficiency, …
- Small improvements on a continuous basis generate big advantages for a company at low-cost investment. It doesn’t always have to be an expensive investment.
- The people who do the work often have a ton of good ideas for small improvements. If we can encourage them to bring these up, a systematic approach can help to select the ones that fit into the whole and can be implemented.
- And finally, continuous improvement is similar to the personal development of a human being, it just feels natural. We don’t improve by one big investment, it often takes years of small improvements that get us to a higher level.