We just wrapped our third Sales and Applications Boot Camp training of the year and will start the fourth one in a week. Boot Camp is two weeks of intensive training for about 70 members of our worldwide sales and apps team at a time. And it is intense!
We have been doing Boot Camp for several years now and over time it has evolved. At the core are key principles and methods that we have adapted and tailored to work within our culture and process, and we are always incorporating new things that we are learning. We intentionally create an environment of continuous improvement, which is why Boot Camp is for both new members of our team and members who have been around for a while.
Here are a few principles that are key to cultivating this environment of continuous improvement:
- Singular commitment to mission. Our mission is to Drive Design Wins to Revenue. This mission isn’t changing, but how we reach it might. Our commitment to the mission drives the ways our process evolves. What is your mission? Do you need to change how you are doing things in order to meet your mission?
- Being open to learning new things. As I mentioned, our boot camp training has evolved over time. The world is changing too fast to just keep doing what we’ve always done – we have to shift to keep up. But we don’t want to just keep up. We want to be on the leading edge, which requires that we have a mindset that is open to learning new ways of doing things. Otherwise we will become sales and apps dinosaurs on display at the Old World Business Museum.
- Application is everything. Goethe said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Boot Camp is two packed weeks of consolidating what we already know and acquiring new knowledge. But the real work comes when we take this knowledge and put it into practice.
This last point is perhaps the most important for encouraging continuous improvement. Application is where the rubber hits the road and we start working out how to take what we have learned and apply it to our individual clients and accounts. The process of application is a process of refining and learning.
- What works in the field?
- How does it work a little differently than you might have expected?
- How can you tweak and adjust?
- And how will you share what you are learning with the rest of your team?
Continuous improvement means that we never sit back and rest on our past success.
What ways do you encourage continuous improvement in your team or organization?