The Importance of Trust in Continuous Improvement [Webinar Recording]


I'm happy to have hosted and moderated another webinar in the KaiNexus Continuous Improvement webinar series.

On October 17th, my friend Colleen Soppelsa presented:

The Importance of Trust in Continuous Improvement

Register now to view the recording.

I met Colleen in person last year after my wife and I moved to Cincinnati. Colleen is a former Toyota employee, also formerly of General Electric, now working for L3Harris (still in aerospace and defense). I've enjoyed getting to know her and the opportunity to compare notes on culture, psychological safety, and continuous improvement.

Here is a short conversation that we had to preview the webinar:

The first draft of this summary was written by, but edited by Mark Graban:

The Importance of Trust in Continuous Improvement

Building compelling solutions is more than just unleashing the powers of Lean and Six Sigma, it interlaces with the intricate fabric of trust within the organization. Trust, as complex and subjective a term it is, plays a significant role in aiding long-term continuous improvement and forms the bedrock of successful organizations.

Creating a Trusting Environment

Senior advisor with KaiNexus, Mark Graban, hosts an enlightening webinar on the “Importance of Trust in Continuous Improvement.” His conversation with the Lean and Six Sigma transformation expert, Colleen Soppelsa, brings forth the profound significance of investing in trust for organizational enhancement.

Colleen Soppelsa, with her extensive 20-year expertise across diverse industries, has inculcated an astute understanding of this systemic challenge. Shaped by her tenure at giants like Toyota, Soppelsa has witnessed how mutually trusting relationships forge paths to fruitful results.

Trust – The Agent of Organizational Healing

Reflecting on her impactful experience at Toyota, Soppelsa recalls instances of dysfunctional behavior within a workspace, likened to a ‘cancer.' These instances, characterized by a lack of trust and egoistical clashes, became obstacles to the ultimate goal of continuous improvement. The focus at Toyota, she articulates, has always been on humility, mutual trust, and elevating entities within the supply chain.

Modern industries confront similar challenges when trying to embrace Lean strategies in organzations that lack trust. For instance, healthcare professionals require the security of trust to invoke crucial protocols such as the ‘andon cord' without fear of ramifications.

Decoding Trust: An Organizational Perspective

Trust, in its pluralistic definitions, calls for a universal language. Soppelsa proposes understanding it within the context of relationships – to management, peers, and work. Developing this common language equips organizations to strategize actions for nurturing trust and the much-required course correction.

Embracing Change: To Grow and Progress

An optimistic Soppelsa affirms that change in the right direction is possible. It lies in harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit creeping within the middle tier. Fostering these advocates of change holds rich potential for the organization to grow and progress.

This webinar, designed around trust and its primacy in continual improvement, is an inspiring session directed toward those aiming to reform the DNA of their organization. Probing insights and real-world experiences shared by Colleen Soppelsa… this promises to shed light on the less-traversed territory of ‘Trust' in the corporate world.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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