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Growing company by growing people

Growing company by growing people

Growing company by growing people

At the moment I’m travelling in the US and speaking at various events, which is something I enjoy doing. My talks focus on the Ozgene philosophy on growing and nurturing its most valuable resource; people. This has generated interesting discussion and feedback, which has inspired this blog on how applying Lean can grow the people within an organisation.

At Ozgene we have a Culture Coach (traditionally titled Human Resources), whose specific role is to grow our people in order to grow our company. After all, without people, Ozgene wouldn’t exist. To do this, the company needs to instil confidence and trust within each team member. How exactly is this accomplished you might ask? At Ozgene we do it in the following way:

Differentiate processes and people. When a mistake happens or something fails, we review the rules, tools, training and processes first. Highlighting the clear difference between the people and the processes encourages the team members to bring forward mistakes and failures (big or small), and provides them with the permission to strive for better standards and fix the problem, rather than trying to work around it.

Create certainty. This involves creating a stable and standard working environment for each team member. We strive for certainty by setting up daily “kaizen” (continuous improvement) meetings for each department and the organisation as a whole. Using schedules and step-by-step processes for regular, routine day-by-day activities help to achieve certainty. This removes the stress and worry from that aspect of the job, allowing for human creativity to come through and improve systems, expand knowledge and permit understanding.

Use “technical” and “human” gap maps. Gap maps are reviewed monthly in order to grow each team member. These sessions are not your typical personnel reviews; gap maps are used as sources of empowerment to “close the gap” in the staff skills and/or knowledge and then open new ones with fresh ideas and plans.

These ideas work across all departments within the company. You can sit with your team members and build your current state by listening to them. Don’t judge, just listen. Don’t be fooled either. It sounds easy, but listening is very, very hard work. To extend this further, listen to your clients.

When you build confidence in people, and remove their fear of being blamed for failure, they will produce magic. They will experiment and find better ways. In actual fact, it is extremely difficult to stop them from doing so once they start.

Grow your people and your business will grow too!

– Frank, CEO –