Are you just keeping yourself busy and not taking the time to improve how you do work?
If you want to innovate and improve you must make time for continuous improvements.
If we plan for less than 100% utilization you can create the time and space for improvements and innovation. When you have the time to improve and innovate you can increase your capability and do even more.
An added bonus is that planning for less than 100% utilization is also very good for the flow in your system.
Just like in flow, small batches is good when it comes to doing improvements. Doing improvement work in big batches every other week or once a month is not optimal. Plan for it to be part of your daily work. Your daily work should really be both delivering value AND improving the work.
The added bonus of small batches is that they will reduce variation in your processes, which will improve your flow.
Small batches and high repetition will also help you build the habits of continuous improvements and innovation.
You should really see yourself as a gardener, the gardener of your processes. Processes are just like gardens; if you don’t keep them up the weeds, the bad habits, will grow back.
If you don’t keep up and continuously improve your processes their capability will dwindle.
This is one of my favorite quotes and I think is really sums up what continuous improvement and innovation is all about. We have to build the daily habits of improving and innovate if we want to strive for perfection.
How do you get started? I think Toyota Kata is a great way.
Also take a look Dr. Scott Simmerman work with Square Wheels® Performance Improvement Tools and Dynamic Team Building Games at http://www.performancemanagementcompany.com/
You can read more about Toyota Kata here
Square Wheels® is a registered servicemark of Performance Management Company