Thursday, April 17, 2014

Add a Little Hoopla to Your Culture

Guest post from Dean M. Schroeder:

Carl Holte loves Hoopla! Not hoopla as in the form of exuberant celebration, but hoopla as in the name of an improvement technique used at the Web Industries Hartford, Connecticut unit where Carl is the plant manager.

Hoopla is a simple, quick improvement technique that is used at the end of every meeting or event. Participants are asked three questions:

1)     What Went Well

2)     What Didn’t Go Well

3)     What Should We Do Differently

The rules for participants are simple:

        All feedback makes it on the list as stated

        Keep feedback short and concise

        No debating anyone else's feedback

        Everyone has a voice

        Be open and honest

Lists of the responses to the three questions are created, logged, and reviewed by the appropriate people. Improvement actions are decided upon and assigned. The process has proven to be an excellent source of employee improvement ideas. Because its application is so pervasive, Hoopla has helped to foster a candid environment of improvement as an integral part of Web Hartfort’s culture.

Hoopla is also used as a way to quickly get input on the performance of various processes throughout the operation. For example, about once a year, everyone in the facility is asked the three hoopla questions about the employee idea system. In this way, employee ideas are used as a way to improve the system for getting employee ideas.

Carl Holte also hates Hoopla. “Our people have gotten so skilled at Hoopla, that it seems no matter how good a meeting or event has gone, we walk away with a list of improvements we can make.” Then Carl grinned and added, “It seems like the better we get, the more improvement opportunities we see.”

About the Authors:

Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder are award-winning authors, consultants, and educators. They are the co-authors of the bestseller Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations. Between them, they have advised hundreds of organizations in more than twenty-five countries around the world on how to improve their creativity, innovativeness and overall performance. Their first book, Ideas Are Free, was voted the Reader’s Choice by Fast Company magazine and selected as one of the 30 best business books of the year by Soundview Executive Books. On March 31, 2014, Robinson and Schroeder will release their second book together, The Idea-Driven Organization (available on Amazon). Follow them on Twitter – @alangrobinson and @deanmschroeder and visit their website –

No comments: