“Your system is not going to get any better, unless your system is focused on getting better.”

It’s a candid realization sparked by Dr. Pat Greco, a leadership coach and national speaker on continuous improvement. Dr. Greco recently retired as Superintendent of School District of Menomonee Falls, an award-winning district that serves 4,000 students in southeastern Wisconsin. Her approach to systems improvement has been featured at conferences around the nation and in publications, including the latest issue of School Administrator. This video gives a preview of her article about Healing Our Systems and Making Improvement Stick.

Develop Leaders to Develop People

In the video, Dr. Greco stresses the role that leader development plays in organizational success: “Every ounce that you invest in the development of your people will be a step forward for the organization… We are an organization of people power. Enabling the brains of that organization down to the front-line worker, investing heavily in their development, will pay dividends ten-fold for the organization that you serve and the community that your committed to.”

Watch the video here:

Removing Barriers

As Dr. Greco points out, there is a difference between actively removing barriers and creating work-arounds that temporarily address the problem. Work-arounds “create a pathway to remove a barrier for [that specific instance]… but the barrier still exists within the system,” cautions Dr. Greco. To truly see improvement that lasts, leaders must be able to find the root of the problem and develop their team to problem solve. She emphasizes that “taking the time to teach the skill set of understanding situation appraisal, really understanding root cause analysis, and taking a look at how your processes flow” is what will ultimately help us “figure out where are those barriers existing and how do we get them out of the way?”

To learn more about creating teams to remove barriers, visit our blog post on barriers teams or listen to our recent podcast episode, That’s the Way It Is, featuring a story from the barriers team at the University of West Georgia.

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  • […] However, it is important to remember that in order for your organization to evolve and improve, continuous improvement and change is unavoidable. Leaders and employees have to put on their running shoes and enter the […]

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