The essential skills of any continuous improvement supervisor

Managers, executives and other decision-makers have to wear a number of hats. While their responsibilities shift according to job, industry and personal style, the ability to identify inefficiencies and implement effective solutions is always a top priority.

In fact, IndustryWeek contributor Jill Jusko, argues that the ability to leverage Kaizen and other continuous improvement efforts is one of the most fundamental skills for organizational managers, particularly supervisors of Lean practices.

The Lean supervisor should have a solid foundation of basic problem-solving and Kaizen skills, including resources like 5S and Six Sigma.

“Supervisors have challenging jobs – responding to management, assisting associates and team members, responding to challenges that may crop up in safety, quality and delivery,” Jusko writes for the source. “Their positions can be described at times as being 'between a rock and a hard place.'”

In managing a Lean of Kaizen initiative, managers should also have a firm understanding of job responsibilities, leadership demands, teaching abilities and work knowledge. Teaching may actually be one of the most under-appreciated skills, as managers especially are expected to enforce and motivate practices.