Integrative Improvement Blog

The integrative improvement blog discusses and provides commentary on the latest topics in the business performance improvement sector.

9 tips to drive decision-making through team consensus

One of the basic (and perhaps less prominent) elements of the Toyota Production System, and a key tenet of lean teaching, is the Japanese term nemawashi. Literally meaning ‘preparing the soil’ – as in preparing the soil for planting a tree – nemawashi is a kind of informal consensus-building technique. The idea is to have all preparations done properly (hole dug, water available and so on) prior to planting the tree instead of trying to just ‘slam’ it into the ground.

5 considerations for future-proofing your manufacturing plant

Global manufacturers must adapt to changing demand, or they will become nothing more than a statistic in corporate history books. The key to staying the course is developing a deep understanding of the top five manufacturing trends that will prevail in 2017 – how will they impact your organisation?

5 reasons why your supply chain should go digital now

In today’s global and connected economy, digital supply chains are the on-ramp to innovation and success. And in case you thought the term was just another buzzword created by pseudo intellectuals or the media, you’re wrong. It’s real, and if you want to be among the winners, you need to get on the highway and pick up speed.

A 9-point plan for leaders to drive cultural change

Transforming an organisation from its current state to world class, calls for substantial changes in structure, systems, culture and behaviour at all levels of the organisation. But changing an entrenched culture is most likely the toughest task you will face as a leader. To drive cultural change, you must win the hearts and minds of the people you work with, and that takes both cunning and persuasion.

7 steps to a successful organisational climate assessment

Organisational climate fundamentally forms the soul of an organisation and influences the job performance and work attitude of individuals. In fact, research has shown that a better workplace climate not only makes people more motivated, it can improve bottom-line performance too — by up to a staggering 30%. Here’s how to get the most out of your climate assessment survey.

Why kamishibai is one of the most important lean tools you’ll ever use

The degree to which a leader can quickly grasp the reality of a situation during a leader standard work audit – or during the more open-ended gemba walk – largely depends on the type and quality of visual controls in use. The ancient Japanese art form of kamishibai has entrenched itself as one of the foremost management tools for performing audits in manufacturing environments.

Will Industry 4.0 spell the end of lean manufacturing?

Heralded as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 introduces new technologies in manufacturing, bringing together the digital and physical worlds of the production floor. On the surface, it may seem that these advanced technologies are contrary to the lean principles of simplicity. So does that spell the end of the lean manufacturing era?

Why 5S is the key to a successful CI initiative

For any lean or similar CI initiative to succeed, participants must immediately identify with and buy into the concepts, and learn how these best practices will benefit their lives. One of the most effective ways to gain this support is to begin a CI implementation with the 5S best practice.

5 actions to successfully lead change in your work teams

Organisations experience change in many shapes and forms, from continuous improvement initiatives, downsizing, mergers and acquisitions to technical upgrades and changes in leadership. If there’s anything else guaranteed in life besides death and taxes, it’s change within today’s business world. So to lead change effectively, you need to become a champion of change.