The 15 min challenge

pocket watch, clock, time, numbers

The 15min Challenge

I have been recently challenged by a small company to increase their number of ideas. As I already wrote several times, most companies doesn’t need more ideas but they need good ideas and they need to select wisely the ideas to be implemented.

The goal of this mid sized company however was a bit different. Its CEO wanted a bit of continuous improvement rather than a real cutting-edge disruptive innovation. That’s hard time for the corporate at the moment and it is important to leverage the possibilities to enhance the performance of the organisation.

I have myself experimented several Continuous improvement tools that are close to collective intelligence and innovation. Two of them are in my pocket for such challenges 😉 But among the ones I have deployed there is a funny one (not that the other is boring). I have called it the 15min challenge. It has rather simple rules (which should be adapted according to your organisation culture, blue or white collars etc…)

  1. Set the time zone
    Define when you want to hold the 15 min challenge during the workday. sounds easy. Not so sure. Ask me if you want some more tips but believe me (or not) but that the most important task to perform in that method.
  2. Put the 15 minutes in place
    The deal is easy: at the established time, allow every single employee you have to step back 15min. During those 15min, one and only question: What keep me away from my best performance and how can I improve that? By myself. Of course answers can range from the lack of post-it(r) notes to organisational issues. One has a process for that 😉
  3. Empower your employees
    Once you have all your employees with so much improvements possibilities, put a governance in place that will allow them to modify , the way they work, for a better performance. Authors should also evaluate the benefits they could achieve. A lot of coordination is necessary from the challenge team and from the management. For more complex issues, problem solving techniques should be used (I also have tools for that ;-) ).
  4. Measure the benefit
    Work with your accounting department to evaluate the real benefits (ev. vs the costs). My experience shows tremendous results, sky-rocketing the expected savings. Can I guaranty a ROI? nope. I honestly don’t have enough samples to guaranty a ROI however, what I can say is that on the ones I have led, the ROI all included was average more than 3.
  5. Celebrate
    Find a way to celebrate the success with your team. That’s key within your management and your organisation.

And you are done. Seems simple but I have myself hold several challenges and each time I have been surprise by the preparation time needed and the coordination time necessary. So that’s a lot of work.

Have you experienced such a challenge or equivalent? What’s your feedback?

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