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Leader Standard Work – So much more than a checklist

a hand holding a tablet with a list

We often see leaders busily collecting all checklists and scrutinizing them for completeness. This reduces a leader to a controlling manager and when incomplete checklists need to be addressed the resulting conversation is likely to be defensive. In this way, Leader Standard Work makes it difficult for a leader to meaningfully connect with their team.

It can be so much better: Let’s have a look at the real purpose of Leader Standard Work: “Leader Standard Work enables a leader to confirm that their team is running their area in the right way, to the right standard, and with the desired outcome.”

So, in addition to completion, there is a need to observe the way the work is done and the outcome it produces. This requires a leader to leave their desk and go and see the work. Connect with the person you are observing, explain, and ask respectful questions about the work. This simple act shows appreciation for the work and the person. It furthermore provides opportunities for coaching, when the work is not quite done the right way, as well as opportunities for problem-solving and improvement when the work does not produce the desired outcome.

Showing appreciation, coaching, and working together to improve the work are all key characteristics of leadership. So, by the simple act of making the effort to go and see the work, your role has changed from enforcing controller to an inspiring leader.

Leader Standard Work is one of the practices of our Productivity WheelTM. Contact us at Productivity People on 0800 pro-people or info@productivitypeople.co.nz if you want to learn more about this.