The idea of “lean teams” isn’t news. But the spin this company put on them is.
Lean teams are a great strategy: You harness the knowledge your employees already have to come up with new ways to streamline and cut costs.
Getting folks to be forthcoming with ideas isn’t always easy, though. Yes, you could throw it open to everyone or you could nominate your best thinkers. Or you could do what this company did:
It decided to get the best quality ideas, it would have to increase the real — and perceived — value of the program.
So the company opened positions on the lean team and then had employees apply for them, just like they would for another job or a promotion.
Right away that sparked interest — people wanted to be a part of something that was so important to the company and was good for career advancement.
The company was able to pick the best folks for the job. And it paid off not only in new ways to save time and money, but also a more motivated workforce.