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Getting respect from the rest of the business is the toughest aspect of business improvement. Too much time spent on gathering information and figuring out which processes to look at can seem like inactivity to people who are seeing no change. Action is the key.

1. Only do what you have the resources to do. Become the business improvement section that gets things done by focusing on things that can be done. 2. Don’t hide from the people you’re there to help. Let people know what you’re working on so they see action and know who to speak to if they have an improvement idea. 3. Empathise and don’t argue, just listen even if you think they’re wrong. Raw opinions are a valuable insight into the root of negativity. 4. Keep focused on one improvement at a time and see it through. Get done what needs to get done and you’re on your way to turning around the opinion that business improvement doesn’t do anything.

For tips on what to ask people to get the most out of your conversations, the process improvement handbook contains a list of questions to ask employees to find out what matters to them at work and what they think needs to change.

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