Is busyness killing our ability to learn and think creatively?


Did you know that one distinguishing characteristic of world class companies is that they have a well-entrenched culture that facilitates the learning of all its members, thereby continuously transforming itself.

But, being busy is killing our ability to learn and think creatively. Many organisations are caught up in busyness where there is no time to think about doing things better, more cost effectively, quicker, smarter and safer. We need to balance linear thinking, which we use for everyday tasks, with creative thinking, which is borne out of making time available for thinking and reflection.”

ODI’s 20 Keys system has a strong emphasis on creative thinking, especially at the first-line team level (where typically more that 80% of people are). This is done through a structured focus on ideas for improvement, small groups autonomously solving problems and first-line “mini-businesses” analysing their team objectives for improvement through the CAPdo (Check, Analyse, Plan, Do) cycle.

Pictured here – a small group at Nampak Plastics verifying root causes of a materials-waste-issue on the shop floor.

A First-Line Manager from Nampak Plastics, presenting and discussing a root cause analysis with team members.

To read more about ODI’s Continuous Operations Improvement Systems, click here.

Author: Johan Benadie – Director at ODU