Standards in the Family Business
Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology”.
One of Piaget’s theories discusses objective permanence. Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way). This is a fundamental concept studied in the field of developmental psychology, the subfield of psychology that addresses the development of infants and children’s social and mental capacities. The opposite of object permanence is “Now you see and now you don’t”
1-Does your business have a sense of permanence in its CIP system?
A continuous improvement process (abbreviated as CIP or CI), is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once Delivery (customer valued) processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.
Some see CIPs as a meta-process for most management systems (such as business process management, quality management, project management, and program management). W. Edwards Deming, a pioneer of the field, saw it as part of the ‘system’ whereby feedback from the process and customer were evaluated against organizational goals. The fact that it can be called a management process does not mean that it needs to be executed by ‘management’; but rather merely that it makes decisions about the implementation of the delivery process and the design of the delivery process itself.
2-Does your business understand the law of motion?
The term motion signifies a continuous change in the configuration of a physical system. A Family Business is either said to be at rest, motionless, immobile, Stationary or to have constant position. An object in motion tends to remain in motion, and an object at rest tends to remain at rest.
Continuous Improvement is a process often you begin and see large, rapid, dramatic results. Being in motion, in continuous improvement means we are always working to improve. Recently, HRB visited a company, their Operations Manager boasted a number of times on his team’s knowledge and use of Lean Practices. We observed a significant number of tools stored on the floor. We noted there were storage areas next door. Continuous Improvement at times means challenging the status quo. Thinking outside the box, Asking Why over and over; real problem solving starts with a good problem definition.
3-Does your business understand how to balance Maxwell’s “Law of the weak link” and Jon Snoddy’s – “Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.”
Family Business, organizational performance is based on educating, training and developing people. It also requires we hold each other accountable to standards. Quality or quantity issues with people’s performance require the organization become involved. We have wrong tools, inadequate training, or perhaps poor materials.
The Family Business Culture requires Piaget’s Permanence, a solid source of motion and the balance to believe in people.