25 Mar 2020

Preparing your team for disruption with kaizen | Rob Redenbach | Resilience

Preparing your team for disruption with kaizen | Rob Redenbach | Resilience

Business resilience in the time of COVID-19

At ICMI we are fortunate to have Australia’s best business thinkers in our stable. Our speakers are experts in change management, dealing with disruption and guiding businesses through uncharted waters.

The current health crisis presents several challenges in both protecting our staff’s health today, and protecting their income tomorrow as business realities set in. With this in mind, we’ve asked our speakers to share their insights on how businesses can ride the shockwave and minimise the impact.

About the Author:
After working with the bodyguard team of Nelson Mandela, Rob Redenbach successfully transferred the strategies of personal safety to leadership and resilience. Here’s what he had to say:

Preparing your team for disruption with Kaizan

Think of your business as a wheel with spokes. The spokes represent the unique features of what your business does: your product; your service; your equipment; your website; your administration processes, etc. The spokes are what separates your business from your competitors, but what binds your spokes together, and what allows your wheel to turn, is the hub. And the hub, of course, is people. If your hub turns smoothly and well, then the wheel functions as it is intended to function. However, because the hub is the part of the wheel that turns, that means the hub is where the friction is. And where there’s friction, there’s heat. If the people in your hub lack resilience, i.e. if the people in your hub lack the ability to work under pressure, manage disruption, deal with change, etc., buying new spokes is not the solution.

Whether your team consists of several thousands of people or just you, invest in developing a more resilient hub. Provide your team with opportunities to learn. Give them experiences that are challenging. As clichéd as it may sound; facilitate an environment where they are stretched. To paraphrase Steve Sammartino: cross train your staff before they need to fill a gap in an emergency. The cross-training process is a valuable investment not just because it makes the organisation more capable, but also because it makes the individual more confident (which in turn fosters resilience).

Similarly, exposing your team to new technology sooner rather than later drags them out of their comfort zone and, in the process, gives them a first-hand understanding of dealing with change.
The Japanese have a term for the idea of continuous improvement: kaizen. Put simply, kaizen is the reverse of complacency. It’s a practical understanding that by consistently addressing small flaws and defects, large improvements will be achieved over time. If your goal is to be more resilient, think of kaizen as the perfect oil for the hub of your business.
Learn more about Rob

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