Shingo Fellow, certified Shingo Institute Master Trainer and Shingo examiner, Chris Butterworth, recently released his new book ‘Why Bother?: Why and How to Assess Your Continuous-Improvement Culture’.
We sat down with Chris to uncover all the insights, including the thinking it’s formed upon and the upcoming launch.
‘Why Bother?’ was written by Chris Butterworth, alongside lean experts Morgan Jones and Peter Hines. It homes in on the importance of behaviour in embedding a continuous improvement culture and how to assess this. Many organisations conduct lean audits with traditional tools, which begs the question – why bother looking at things in a different way? But in doing so, you have the chance to review strengths and opportunities, and take your CI culture to the next level.
As businesses progress, they embed improvement as a way of life, enabling them to reach Shingo award level. The book talks through the behaviours required, and how to assess and build them into your organisation. These behaviours link back to Shingo principles, such as respect for every individual, and leading with humility.
Such behaviours sometimes need to be proactively managed so they can become habits. Eventually, you won’t have to think about them – they become part of the way you operate on a daily basis and improvement doesn’t feel like an add on. The book also dives into how to measure these behaviours through key behavioural indicators.
Ultimately, ‘Why Bother’ talks through the best way to design and implement a continuous improvement assessment system. It includes case studies from over 10 organisations worldwide, helping the reader to understand the Shingo Prize journey, the experience, and how different businesses have achieved it. They also provide tips on how to assess and structure this journey through support on different levels, and demonstrate how each assessment can act as learning for the next phase of improvements.
Feedback has been incredibly positive. It’s been called essential reading for providing invaluable practical advice on research and the importance of CI assessment, and for bringing fresh ideas into the mix. It was also commended for explaining the crucial ‘why’. Readers appreciated the thinking of improvement from a cultural perspective too.
The Shingo Institute’s Executive Director, Ken Snyder, praised the book, and in fact, he actually wrote the foreword. He said: “Butterworth, Jones, and Hines demonstrate that effective assessment can help organisations identify gaps. And by closing those gaps, real, measurable improvement is achievable.”
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