Monday, 20 May 2013

Continuous Improvement Conference

Last Tuesday, we went to Manchester for a conference, "Continuous Improvement: Embedding the Culture in the Public Sector". There was a full agenda, with ten of the speakers only having 15 minutes each to speak. This only enabled them to give a brief overview of the experiences in their organisations, and some of the more relevant and challenging ideas left me wanting to find out more. Fortunately most of the speakers are on LinkedIn and/or twitter so we can follow this up. There were also three workshops, which allowed for q&a and a little more substance. Key themes from the conference included embedding a culture of continuous improvement into an organisation, getting people at all levels of the organisation involved, understanding the importance of continuous improvement and having an atmosphere of continuous kaizen. Leaders and middle management play a key role in enabling, and empowering this process and one of our challenges for the next year will be working with staff to ensure that all levels of the university desire improvement. There is an imperative to remove fear, and allow staff to make the changes that make sense and make a difference: these changes need to be made regularly, quickly, simply and with minimal bureaucracy.

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