What a nice term to describe the process of improvement that can occur in a voluntary manner, where the reward is not monetary, but the recognition of peers that you made a contribution to a worthwhile outcome. The value of “I did that”!!
Linux and Wikipedia are both examples of peer production that have changed the way the world works, but there are many others. The core of successful continuous improvement is the willingness of people to take individual responsibility and do something better than it was done yesterday, not because they have been told to do so, or paid to do so, but because it is worth doing.
In operational situations management often tries to encourage the evolution of these systems, but most fail, simply because they are “managed” rather than led.
Leading means facilitating the culture that nurtures the undirected and common accountability necessary, rather than thinking they can direct the processes and outcomes.