Last night I went to see Waiting for Godot. It is an absurdist play about two men waiting for the arrival of Godot. What has this got to do with process improvement? It made me think about people’s attitudes to change. All too often we meet with people and they have been waiting for change: waiting for a new computer system; new staff; new strategy etc. The consequences of waiting are that people are stymied and get used to undertaking non-value added activities. In the play Vladimir and Estragon use all sorts of strategies to while away the waiting time, which albeit highly amusing as a theatrical tool when people use these strategies in real life it distracts them from the current condition problems and hinders the possibility of change. Equally profound was that the main characters were waiting for someone else to arrive, to enforce change. We also see this at the university - staff recognise poor processes and when we question them they say - I’ve told my manager about this, it’s in the minutes of the meeting, I’m waiting for approval to make the changes. At the same time staff are living with the problems day in and day out.
So the purpose of this blog is a call to arms, don’t wait for Godot, start making small improvements, get some problem solving skills so that you can start focusing on fixing things at root cause it really will make a difference to your working life. By doing this, we can start to create a culture of continuous improvement in the workplace.