The Solution?

Identify simple ways to quickly move from a series organization to an organization with more collaborative methods such as problem-solving cells. These are called collaborative strategies.

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Understanding the Toyota Stop Button

One example of a well-known collaboration strategy is the stop button employed at Toyota. On a production line, when an employee detects an anomaly, he pulls on a cord that allows him to stop production and fix the problem. Toyota understood that the employee was the first in contact with the product and was able to notice a problem.

Within seconds, the manager arrives at the workstation and assists the operator in solving problems. In just a few minutes, the operator is able to correct the situation and return to his normal situation

Warning! The most important thing, however, is to understand what does NOT happen after the button is pressed. The operator is not left alone. The operator does not find a shortcut to the solution or does not put a “patch” on the problem on his own. We remember that the stop button allows him to signal that he needs help. The most important thing in working together is asking when you need help, and as a leader, knowing who needs help.

So in your business, what’s the best way to ask for help?

Why Are Collaborative Strategies Important?

The reflex of many business leaders is to tie the success and survival of a business to tangible business assets such as investments in machinery or patents. Many leaders forget about intangible assets such as good collaboration strategies. While the return on investment of tangible assets is a straightforward exercise, that of collaborative practices remains abstract. Yet its impacts are real on a company’s ability to improve and innovate.

Modern business is on the move. The traditional structure where the president designates with his team of directors the next actions is more and more shaken. This structure creates many delays in decision-making and weighs down the processes. Companies seek to reduce efforts to facilitate the work of their team. They aim for fluid, rapid exchanges without going back. The aim is to identify ideas more quickly to implement lasting solutions.

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Some Numbers

De bonnes pratiques de gestion influencent plus fréquemment et significativement les entreprises que les décisions liées aux orientations stratégiques de long terme. Le tout est particulièrement plus marquant en ce qui a trait à l’innovation.

    • A 2019 government statistical study questioned the relationship between management practices, long-term strategic orientations and the economic performance of companies.
    • The results are striking : Best management practices systematically increase the likelihood of innovation in a business. By improving its management practices by 1%, it increases the probability of the company innovating by 38% and the number of innovative products or processes by 48%.
    • Good management practices influence companies more frequently and significantly than decisions linked to long-term strategic orientations. Everything is particularly striking in terms of innovation.

Source : https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/18-001-x/18-001-x2019001-fra.htm

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How to Support Collaborative Strategies?

First, you have to understand what collaboration strategies are used for. These strategies allow us to adapt work to external pressures and to resolve problems quickly.

The second step is to identify the people involved in the work process. These people must be named: Marie, Paul and Serge. The reality is that the work happens from person to person. Initiatives must be created so that these people meet, discuss their work habits and are made aware of the impact of their work on others.

The third step consists in identifying the triggers, in other words, what makes it possible to identify an anomaly and the times of verification (the checks). They can take several forms: team meetings, tools for noting any anomalies encountered, tools for carrying out autonomous checks, checklists, etc.

 

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The Challenge of Intellectual Work

On an assembly line, the problems are visible: the line has stopped, orders are late, or stock is piling up at a certain stage. In an industry where it is more intellectual work it is difficult to see that someone needs help. The work done seems invisible.

Without a defined way of working, research shows that humans wait too long before asking for help or reporting a problem or irritant. The team leader on the other hand is waiting too long to find out. All this creates a series of insurmountable delays. The solution is to use visual management tools.

In your business, how can you make work and collaboration visible?

The 3 Pitfalls of Collaboration Strategies

01

Add the Burden of Solutions on the Leader

The leader wants to be actively involved with their team. Excellent.
Yet, too quickly, he is overwhelmed by the problems faced by his teams. Caught up in day-to-day challenges, it then becomes difficult to take the necessary step back to guide your team in achieving strategic objectives.

03

Deny the Participants' Need for Discretion

For some, it is difficult to ask for help with technical questions or to suggest improvements. For others, if they are not called upon during a meeting, they will have difficulty speaking aloud. The leader must put in place collaborative strategies to reach these individuals and invite them to contribute to improvements.