Here's an excerpt from an article that will be coming out in India in a printed newsletter, and in Kentucky through the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers. Let me know what you think!
Because we are not going to be able to predict what new challenges are coming, the most important thing we as leaders can do is recognize that we need more people who are able to quickly see and gather available information, think critically about what that new information might mean for the organization, and take the initiative to act on that information in a prudent yet aggressive way. We need people who can analyze a situation, synthesize a solution, and evaluate the impact of that solution. We need people who can solve problems.
To prepare for our uncertain future, leaders need to build these key skills, and that means the leader’s primary responsibility has to be teaching. Effective teachers not only build the required skill set, but also inspire confidence. Remember that no one becomes an expert without significant experience, which takes time. The important thing is to start now with small steps.
With the foundation set (standardized work, teams, and team leaders), learning is a matter of focused thinking in the course of doing work. Each time a team member successfully performs a particular task, skills improve. Not only that, but each time we’re successful, it builds our confidence as well.
Additional opportunities for learning occur any time we experience a problem. Lead people through the problem solving process (Concern, Cause, Countermeasure, Confirm). Don't just solve the problem...teach the process.