During a recent flight, I was asked a question by a flight attendant that certainly got my attention.
On a 6:30am domestic flight after the breakfast service I was asked, “Tea, coffee or anything from the bar?” The person next to me did – he has been travelling from the US for a holiday. I guess it was 5pm for him!
Airports are the same – a lot changes, particularly in Sydney. The road network approaching the airport is continually changing. Change gets people’s attention as one does not want to end up in the wrong terminal and miss the flight!
This concept is useful to apply for repeating critical processes in businesses. For example, daily forklift safety checks. Some are conducted digitally on screens and the questions are randomised. So are the positions of YES / NO buttons to respond to the checklist. Certainly, gets the operator’s attention.
Daily review meetings. I know companies use different facilitators each day. Makes the whole team accountable, familiar with the process, and we all have a different style which makes it interesting.
Shift huddles. Many supervisors and team leaders have the tendency to communicate at the team and the entire meeting could be over and done with in less that 5min. This is not an effective shift meeting. I coach them to get the team involved. Ask team members who completes hazard observations to share it with the team, instead of the team leader doing it.
I know a supervisor a who is colour blind to red / green. By the way, colour blindness in more common than we think. This particular supervisor uses that to his advantage. Although he’s fully aware of the content on the board, he asks the team. He jokingly says, “I can’t see if it is red or green. What is it team? What did we get yesterday?” Different people chime in each day, and they have been a highly engaged team.
So, what are the critical repeating processes in your business and how can you change things around, to spice it up and get people’s attention?
PS: I just had a coffee and water on the flight.