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Quality, efficiency and effectiveness of daily work routines

All after being a member here for any years, but not necessarily posting much, I thought now would be a good time to cross the threshold.

I thought I might start an interesting thread based on the current situation I’m sure many of us find ourselves in.

The organisation I work for recently held an open forum discussion across all business units globally, with a target of generating ideas on how we can adapt and change for the future.
We were asked to consider 3 key areas:

1) How to improve Quality
2) How to improve efficiency
3) How to improve the effectiveness
In relation to our daily work routine

what I found surprising is that despite being a global company the overwhelming suggestions were very similarand gave an impression that most people had done a google search and used the first things associated with efficiency and effectiveness, get To-do lists, standing meetings, clean desk policy etc.

There were no real out of the box thinking suggestions,Which, jumped out at me. So it got me thinkingrealistically when associates have been so used to carrying out Repetitive daily routines / tasks it is Difficult Climb out of the box and look back in.

so I would like to open it up to you guys as I know we all span many sectors and disciplines.
How do you promote out of the box thinking in your orgs and have you any examples where new thinking has borne results?

looking forward to the discussions

best regards
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Not making your customers pay for your waste could be seen as both quality and efficiency.

I see absolutely no conflict in finding and using the most efficient means of fulfilling customer needs.

Effective is the system that helps it’s people to satisfy their customers at the lowest cost.

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
The environment needs to be "safe" for this discussion.

If I supply an idea that will improve efficiency, but end my own job, then what? - WIIFM
Will I be ridiculed for "we tried that before" or "that is stoooopid"
Are only managers allowed to think out of the box?
What if my idea cuts across stovepipes - steps in another person's rice bowl?
One idea that worked in a rather militaristic environment (heck it was the military) were we were all give "lightning bolts through the head" things to wear during such a meeting as no one could get mad at a person wearing such a silly thing (yes it actually worked)
The person leading the effort needs to be sincere and transparent.

I would recommend taking a look at David Marquet's thoughts on getting input . . .


Looking for Reality
Staff member
Super Moderator
In my experience, the only folks who think "outside the box" are those already outside it.
Teaching someone to think in a way that they do not normally tend toward is the proverbial "teaching a pig to sing".

You get more flexible and out-of-the-box thinkers during the hiring process...and most of them cringe and run to different jobs when they see:
despite being a global company
I worked in a 2 person was very uncomfortable when I joined a 55 person site of a 110 person company, but I shifted and thrived (and hated the programmed politics).
Then it got bought by a 5500 person global company...I'm not there anymore, nor is any "out of the box thinker" I thrived with...we all quit.

Creating freedom to think of novel solutions means creating freedom to move outside of corporate boundaries, and moving outside (on the top side) of programmed job responsibilities and compensation...ain't gonna break that one anytime soon...
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