Systematic Continuous Improvement (SCI) Insights

team huddle

The magical power of listening.

July 08, 20241 min read

Karl Menninger, the renowned psychiatrist, once said "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." That’s a powerful message for managers wanting to tap into the wealth of improvement ideas that virtually everyone on your team is willing and able to contribute.

Too often, employee suggestions for making things work better come in random, infrequent spurts. Without a systematic process for capturing and acting on their input, managers are missing out on the organization’s greatest source of improvement and innovation.

The key is to create a regular cadence and a clear process for actively listening to employees, setting up recurring huddles that engage team members in conversations for the sole purpose of hearing and acting on their ideas for improvement.

When employees feel truly heard, it unleashes their creativity and desire to contribute. As Menninger said, listening has an almost magical way of drawing out the best in people. By putting in place the routine mechanisms to systematically listen to your team - and for them to hear input from one another - you will be astounded by the outpouring of ideas to make your business better than before.

Tell Us Your Stories!

If you have a story that illustrates the power and potential of employees engaged in continuous improvement, we’d love to hear it – and share it with our readers.

Begin your improvement journey today!

“Great is the enemy of better”

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Les Landes

Founder and president of Landes & Associates, Les Landes is the former head of communications for one of the world’s largest food companies. Speaking at conferences and seminars across the country, he is well known for his trademark message about the perils of the quality “program trap.” Author of numerous articles, his areas of expertise range from communication to marketing to organizational development to employee engagement and more. Most importantly, he brings a unique perspective on how to ensure that those elements are aligned in a way that brings out the best in all of them.

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Les Landes

Les Landes


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