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change management, cultural aspects & issues, cultural change in a company, small companies (small businesses)
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  #1  
Old 13th April 2012, 11:54 AM
tekno9000 tekno9000 is offline
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Question Initiating Cultural Change in a Small Manufacturing Company

I am looking for ideas to initiate cultural change in a small manufacturing company. I want to create awareness about long term strategic planning, safety and doing things right first time. The catch is that I am not designated change manager, but I can influence changes indirectly with help of other managers who understand my motive. This is a privately owned company where owners and supervisors are more reluctant to change than the employees. For most change programs, the top management buy-in is a must but in my case the change is to be initiated and managed from the middle of the organization structure.

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Thanks

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Old 13th April 2012, 01:45 PM
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Re: Initiating Cultural Change in a Small Manufacturing Company

Unless and until you get your "private owners" to change and embrace long term strategic planning, safety and doing things right first time you are wasting your time. You will only get frustrated. You'll be able to affect only what you control and nothing else. Your owners need to act like owners and drive (or at least accept) the change. Unfortunately I have been there and done that. What you do to change the owners will depend upon your relationship with them. Good luck.
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Old 13th April 2012, 02:10 PM
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Re: Initiating Cultural Change in a Small Manufacturing Company

I second Golfman's comment, based on my experience. In small companies change has to come from top down. The owners have to lead by example and drive the changes in culture, processes, methods and personnel to achieve what they want for their companies. I suggest you get their full commitment, support and buy-in if you want to drive anything company-wide.
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Old 26th April 2012, 01:24 PM
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Re: Initiating Cultural Change in a Small Manufacturing Company

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by tekno9000 View Post

I am looking for ideas to initiate cultural change in a small manufacturing company. I want to create awareness about long term strategic planning, safety and doing things right first time. The catch is that I am not designated change manager, but I can influence changes indirectly with help of other managers who understand my motive. This is a privately owned company where owners and supervisors are more reluctant to change than the employees. For most change programs, the top management buy-in is a must but in my case the change is to be initiated and managed from the middle of the organization structure.

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Thanks
I've worked for the big corps and now I work for a small/medium privately owned company and I would agree with your assessment that you CAN change the culture from the middle. Many times I think we as quality professionals will mistake a lack of knowledge or understanding of quality systems by top management as a lack of management support. But I have yet to meet a top manager that did not want to see continual improvement, so as far as suggestions or ideas I think that is where you start:

1) Check -- as the managers you work with, "so what would your process look like if everything ran perfectly?" Then you can help them collect some data every time something wrong occurs. This can become a metric, (# of occurences/nonconformances per month, etc.) and a Pareto of the top issues each week/month.

2) Act -- use the data to help guide in writing corrective action(s) on the top issues.

3) Plan -- what work instructions or system changes could be developed/implemented to help prevent the issues from re-occuring.

4) Do -- self explanatory.

Then repeat the cycle of course. It's not hard. We make it harder than it needs to be. But if you can begin implementing this cycle with each of your department managers I believe you'll begin to change the culture.

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Thanks to QCAce for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  #5  
Old 27th April 2012, 08:34 AM
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Re: Initiating Cultural Change in a Small Manufacturing Company

Hey Tekno, show them the money.

If you are not the designated change manager you will most likely lack in credibility, so take another route. Show them the money.

It was one of the corner stones in Philip Crosby's philosophy.

Upper management reacts to losses and ways to recuperate them. So always cost your suggestions for improvement in terms of how much you can save in doing things differently.

Money talks and when it does, management listens.

Tamale

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