HWP Value of the Month: Improve Continuously


What is continuous improvement?  It’s not finding a method that works and sticking with it.  It is looking at where we are today, setting a goal and doing what needs to be done to reach that goal. Once that goal is met, we start again, finding ways to improve further.

Continuous improvement culture is necessary to keep ahead of the game.  Even if a company is currently the best at what they do choosing to stay the same means competitors will soon overtake them.

Most people tend to think about production when they hear continuous improvement but it’s necessary for all aspects of business … engineering, IT, accounting, sales and customer service processes, supply chain, quality, as well as production.

Continuous improvement is not change for the sake of change. It’s adding value to the way we operate.  Show of hands if you have heard the term “Kaizen” … who knows the English translation of that?  (improvement or literally change for the better). Although most humans tend to prefer the comfort of what they already know it’s been necessary to “change for the better” for thousands of years.

  • Caveman struggled to catch food because it was too fast to catch by hand.  A better way was needed!
  • He discovered that if he used a stick, he had more reach giving him a better chance. Nice start…
  • Then he found that throwing the stick gave even better range and improved his odds of catching dinner.
  • Adding a sharpened stone to the end of the stick lead to even greater success.
  • Eventually inviting other cavemen to team with him multiplied the chances of a meal.

One more thought… CI isn’t an addition to what we are doing today, it’s an integral part of it. It’s a new way of looking at our old ways of working. The goal of continuous improvement is to make every aspect of what we do better, easier, faster, cheaper and more profitable to the business.

~Dan Warner, Chief Operations Officer


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