7 reasons why you shouldn’t leave your valuables on the shelf

One of the basic prerequisites for great team performance is for all team members to share the same basic values, that is, the things that people believe in the most, in order to fuel their energy and to provide deeper meaning to their work.

In business terms, this translates into having a clearly defined mission statement which, above all, reflects the reality experienced by the people in the company.

“Who we are?” “What do we do?” “Why do we exist?” “Why are we different?” “Where do we want to go?” These are some of the questions people are asked when defining a company’s mission statement as part of the envisioning process.

How many times, however, have we been faced with a half-hearted and limited commitment to realising these values?

Often, the mission statement remains a sterile exercise whose only substance is on display in a beautiful exhibition in meeting rooms and in the company’s entrance.

Often, unfortunately, the declared values ??do not correspond with consistent managerial behaviour and this causes a rift not only between the people and the business, but also between goals and results.

The benefits of a clear definition process

The Lenovys envisioning process is one of the key elements of Lean Lifestyle® methodology which leads to defining a company’s mission statement. This is a fundamental process in determining the company’s driving style and ability to achieve its medium- to long-term goals.

The final step of this process is, in fact, closely connected with the company’s long-term business strategy as a natural evolution.

What are the benefits?

1. Have excellent team performance

because the company’s people enthusiastically share the company’s goal and have a precise image of the “dream to chase”

2. Multiply the team's energy

due to sharing, focus and clarity of direction

3. Speed up decision-making

thanks to clarifying the basic criteria for decision-making and making the right choices, depending on the direction chosen

4. Question the current state

without creating conflict, especially when it’s not appropriate to realising the vision

5. Confront challenges better

and moments of stress or crisis, thanks to the team’s extraordinary unity

6. Rally people

with a shared vision

7. Avoid inconsistency

to reach core targets.

The entrepreneur who knows how to express strongly motivating values ??and build bold visions releases the best kind of business energies – which would otherwise remain dormant – and provides a definite boost towards the company’s vision and growth.

A concrete example  of how it is possible to do this was provided by Paolo Streparava, Chief Executive Officer of Streparava Spa, in the 2017 edition of the Executive Master in Lean Lifestyle® in which he talked about how, and what, has changed in his company – and its employees – thanks to the Lean approach and the adoption of the Lean Lifestyle® methodologyand, in particular, to the envisioning process.

A dream company born out of a dream

Taking the inheritance of a family business and projecting it into the future. This was the dream of Paolo Streparava, CEO   of Streparava Spa, a company with sales of 160 million Euros, specialising in the supply of suspension and powertrain systems for the automotive sector.

The story starts with the awareness that the one thing a business –  especially one which proudly states in its mission statement of having been “a family since 1951” – cannot change are its values, that is to say the energy that moves people towards a common goal.

In order to create his dream company, Paolo Streparava started by adopting a methodology which helped him to generate value. This is how the meeting with Lean Lifestyle® came about following initial Lean activities undertaken in previous years.

Why, after a certain point, was “Lean Production” no longer enough to create his dream company?

Why was the applying the logic of Lean Production no longer sufficient, acting on improving production processes and investing in automation, to make his dream company?

Because, according to Paolo Streparava, in order to create a dream company “continuous improvement” is necessary in all business processes; focusing on generating value for your end client on a daily basis is everyone’s responsibility, together with emphasising individual and social well-being.

In Lean Lifestyle I found the answer: a methodology that starts with people, talks about people, about how they want to feel in the company” Paolo  explains “so we started our project on the first lines and now with the second, in the belief that  involvement is real if – and only if – management at all levels is consistent and is a true example for others. In other words, we worked with Lenovys to transmit the dream to our people“.

The first step was to launch a strong commitment from above. A clear strategic message from the top of the company. That is why the  fundamental step was the drafting of the Streparava mission statement and consequently defining the 3/5 year strategy deployment (Hoshin Kanri).

“It was an exciting journey because Lenovys took our energy, our individual dreams, as each of us wants to be happy, and accompanied us in the strategic design of the company. It was a very powerful journey that led us to define a mission statement consistent with our feelings, our daily lives in the company, which we then stated with a strategy deployment with specific goals and projects which was defined with everyone’s complete involvement“.

Lean Production and the Lean Lifestyle journey were therefore a formidable resource for Streparava’s company growth, realised together with improving the well-being of its employees.

And as evidenced by the company’s latest figures – recently illustrated by Il Sole 24 ore – the results are more than flattering. For this reason, in the next three years – while investments in plant and machinery will grow, as well as for all automation processes – Streparava will continue to invest in people and their well-being.

Several business welfare tools have also been employed, to the benefit of employees, detailed in the first sustainability report from 2016.

In the three-year period 2017-19, the group has forecast around 25 million Euros of investment on equipment and machinery while the number of employees in these years is expected to increase (from 607 in 2015, 700 in 2016, and is currently in excess of 760 in 2017).

The value of people and their well-being is at the centre of a growing business and Paolo Streparava also reaffirms his firm belief in this philosophy during the closing of his speech, clarifying his thoughts about the so-called “Industry 4.0”: a wave to ride, an opportunity to be grasped that should not, however, be seen as the only driver of results, perhaps not the first or even the most important to implement. A bit like saying that value and people are more important than the tools themselves.

Industry 4.0 will not take us to the moon! Let’s not be fooled by the 4.0 slogan otherwise we risk falling into the same traps as always! So if people ask me: do you want to have the best company in the world using 4.0 or the best of Europe using Lean, I would reply without a seconds hesitation that it would be enough for me to be the best in Italy at applying Lean“.

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