Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kaizen Motivation

It has been an eventful few days as we travelled at times only hours ahead of floods and road closures in Calgary. What a spectacular flood. Now we are heading north to home and hearth. I am finishing up a borrowed book on Kaizen and I came across a quote I must not forget. "Individual-oriented Kaizen is often regarded as a morale booster, and management does not always ask for immediate economic payback on each suggestion. Management attention and responsiveness are essential if workers are to become "thinking workers" always looking for better ways to do their work"

I think of my time with the government, and the supreme effort required to being in the smallest change. I think of the bright recruits who sincerely asked why we might do a job differently. They were absolutely right, but the effort to implement would freeze me to immobility.

Stop employees often enough and they simply quit trying. The bold ones leave, the ones who stay a sepia portrait of their former selves.

I ran in to that same blandness at the town office. I needed to talk to Taxation, but their number is buried under the general directory, not under the department listings. It took a couple calls to figure that out. I mentioned this to the town worker. She admitted that more than one person has commented  on this, and then changed the subject. She treated this small issue as insurmountable as the Rockies visible out the window.

Am I exaggerating to think that an atmosphere where the individual employee is so disempowered, cannot build, grow, thrive, energize?