The What is Working? Solution. Using Cim to Drive Continuous Improvement

We often talk about CorasWorks Cim to be used as a tool to drive innovation.  Therefore, we tend to think of new ideas, processes, and creating something novel.  However, one of the biggest opportunities for larger organizations is taking things that are already working and get them working in other parts of the organization. I’ll present you with a solution we call “What is Working?” and describe how this simple mechanism can drive continuous improvement.

Your organization is already innovative.  If it wasn’t you’d be out of business.  Your people already are doing really effective things.  They came up with ideas and implemented them, usually at a local level.  Someone, somewhere, is doing something valuable in the most effective way.  Who are they and where are they?  What if you could find out and then give it visibility so that others could also be doing things that way?

The problem is that people don’t necessarily think of good practices that they are doing as brand new innovations. They don’t know, what others don’t know.  So, instead of just focusing on innovation, you have to use messaging and provide a channel to your organization that is explicitly focused on getting people to share what is working for them.

Let’s call this solution “What is Working?”.  Your objective is to get your people to tell the rest of the organization what is working for them, their team, their group.  What you find out is that what is working for people at a local level, maybe they’ve been doing it for years, is not common knowledge or practice.  To that local group, it isn’t a novel, innovative idea.  But, to lots of others, it is brilliant.


How you would implement it

- You launch a “What is Working?” campaign

- You tell your organization “We are often so overwhelmed with how innovative you all are.  You just come up with great ways of doing things.  We really want you to share what you are doing so that others can learn.  If other people pick up your way of working, we will reward you for sharing.  We are providing a channel to make this easy and natural to do.”

- You then provide a Cim community for people to share and collaborate.

- You enable the Cim peer review mechanism so that others can try out a “way to work”, get results, and share the results with the community.

- You have a group of people to keep track of and manage the flow.

- You then provide a mechanism to provide recognition and rewards for things that people are doing that they share, that are copied, and, that prove to work.

-  You use “What is Working?” to then drive other activities such as an Enterprise Best Practices process, to kick off bigger idea, and to augment your Training curriculum.


Wrap Up

In sum, launching a “What is Working?” campaign is an easy and effective step to drive continuous improvement.  It starts with the recognition that people don’t know what others don’t know.  By sharing what works for them others learn and can collaborate.  In many instances, people that share will find even better ways of doing something and/or just validation from others.  They also make connections with others from around the world that are working in areas where they are working and care about getting better.

The nice thing about “What is Working?” is that you don’t need a lot of back end process.  In effect, the community, through sharing and collaboration, becomes self-innovative.  People now have a channel to share what they do and learn what others do in an open way.  It puts a mechanism in place and a burden on people to self-improve.  The management group participates to encourage, recognize, reward, and take findings to drive bigger adoption and better results.


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