30 Mar 4 Important Lessons I Learnt From Running A Factory
I’m only a few chapters into Adam Grant’s book ‘Think Again,‘ and it has already taken me back to the production line when I ran a food company.The book talks about having an open mind and based on this,let me share four key lessons I learned on the production line.
Tip 1 : Beware of Assumptions
Without getting into too much detail, we had lower yields than expected on our critical part of the production line. Whenever I suggested an experiment to my managers, they would come back with reasons why it wouldn’t work, or they had tried it, and it failed.
As a result, I thought they were right. However, out of desperation to achieve results, I decided to work on the line for a few days. I was shocked to learn that managers were getting their answers from supervisors instead of having firsthand knowledge of what was happening.
So, my first takeaway was to always examine my assumptions when trying to solve a problem so that I allow myself to explore various options.
Tip 2 : Have A Curious Mind
Although it is a self-explanatory phrase, this is often lacking in our lives. Regarding the yield issues on the line, I began to ask a lot of questions about our processes and production parameters. Though it caused discomfort to some, I was learning a lot and discovered that our processes were simply a function of how we had always done it.
Also, have a curious mind and do not be afraid of asking questions, even of very experienced people. You will learn a great deal, and perhaps you will discover some of our “this is how we’ve always done it” situations.
Tip 3 : Be Willing To Experiment
Another lesson was the importance of building a culture where people feel comfortable with testing things out in pursuit of a more efficient improvement in the process, product etc.
This is something that you have to be deliberate about; otherwise, it will simply be a bumper sticker with no teeth. I instituted a process where we tested things that we were regularly doing without affecting business.
So get curious and test various ideas or experiences, and who knows what you will discover.
Tip 4 : Take Action
I always find this advice relevant, and it cannot be overemphasized. It would be best to always take action until you get what you want. As a result, I threw out my assumptions and continued to run experiments. Without action, nothing happens!
I will share other key lessons from the book when I finish reading it.
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