One business lesson I learned long ago is that meaningful progress only occurs when an imprimatur—an official sanctioning or approval statement—for improvement exists. In the business world, a high-level person or committee must give their formal permission for personnel in the organization to proceed to make improvement. Fundamental to every improvement initiative is the need to provide personal-written or verbal permission to make improvements.
Many managers are surprised to learn this. They believe that every employee has the responsibility to improve his or her job, and that no special permission is needed. The reality is most employees, supervisors, and managers are consumed by the routine activities of their daily jobs—they get their work done, on time, and with a good effect on the customers. Most employees simply do not have the time to make improvements.
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