People, Process and TechnologyIn today’s hyper-competitive operational landscape, the vast majority of organizations have invested heavily in continuous improvement programs like Lean, Six Sigma, TPS, TQM, JIT, or some combination thereof. Many sophisticated and successful organizations rely heavily on these programs. What has led to their success—programs or prowess?

By its very nature, success can create a trap. Each of these approaches to continuous improvement is heavily predicated on process excellence, systems deployment, and industry focus. These approaches are only one side of the equation. The other part of the equation—the people side—is often neglected.

Every business is going after the same gold nuggets, e.g. better quality, faster delivery, and improved cost effectiveness. Organizations must factor into the equation Frontline Manager execution and a Management Culture that drives appropriate behaviors. By doing so, leaders capitalize on investments in continuous improvement to the fullest extent possible. Once you start to look at the business through the eyes of its people, as opposed to its process, opportunities to improve can be dramatic.