Lean Manufacturing - How do I change my company's Culture?

A

Archer

#1
Lean manufacturing ??

Hi all !

I'm an operation manager who has been expected to implement lean techniques ! However, as far as i'm concern the organization 's culture would be the hardest thing to change.

If anyone got any idea about:
1) How would you address the resistance to chage both above and below me in the organization.

2) is the change agent in the right place if not who should has resoponsibility to be a leader of change?

Regards
Cheers

Norman
 
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gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Change must start at the top and be driven by top management. Give everyone a tour of an operation that has lean. The good thing about lean is that many things are free. If you or anyone is interested in lean, Toyota Supplier Support Center has an excellent program that is a steal. You do not have to be a Toyota supplier to participate. 859-372-2500 ask for Barb Pelphry(? pronounced pel free).
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#3
gpainter comes through again!!:bigwave: I would offer that learning from the folks who created Lean is probably the best way to go. You might want to take gpainter's advice.

This post is timely to a discussion I am having with another Cove member. We are discussing the Change Model. If you are unfamiliar with it, picture a window divided into 4 panes. Moving from top left in a clockwise motion, the panes are labeled as:

*Comfort - (no change necessary)
*Denial/Unaware - (aware of alternate but don't think change is necessary/not aware change is necessary nor if an alternate is available, ignorance)
*Anxiety - (aware that change is necessary, but not sure how or when to make it; movement may be necessary)
*Insight - (breakthrough reached and anxiety overcome by reason; motivation)
*Return to Comfort - paradigm shift complete

I think that this model illustrates nicely the need for Movement during the third stage but relies on Motivation and understanding to sustain change. This to me is the MOST CRITICAL transition in the model. gpainter used the word "drive" which is rather typical of our relative state of being. For me, "drive" means "create movement". While movement is necessary for most organizations (let's face it, we have been living under this paradigm for a long time now) initially, it cannot be the means to the end you seek. 'Knowledge' is the key to long-term success.

Answers to your questions:

1) Give them the knowledge of why Lean (any initiative) is important to your success. Once they understand it for themselves, they will 'pursue' the change (lead them to insight).

2) You can be the facilitator of change, but as gpainter points out, top management may have to 'drive' (use movement initially) to get the attention of everyone. For me, the Change Agent is a facilitator more than a leader. Remember: you can not force people to Learn or become Motivated. You can only help them find both in themselves. This is why 'knowledge' is the key.

It is my personal opinion that Movement needs to be used first (unfortunately) since people have been conditioned to expect it(perhaps 'need it' is a better choice of words). This is why top management must 'drive' change at first then quickly shift to 'leading' change. You as the facilitator should be working in the middle answering questions and providing the information, knowledge, and know-how to the others learning the process. Once everyone is thinking alike, then cultural change will happen.

Regards,

Kevin
 
E

energy

#4
Again?

Archer,

I have to mimic the other thread on this subject. Do a search on "Lean" and read the other thread. In case you don't:

Don't be surprised if there is nothing to "Lean". It happened here.
Oh, we learned processing mapping, all the buzz words and found out what we knew all along. Smart businesses are already "Lean". We just couldn't convince our CEO. After all, he saw it touted in an article. :vfunny: It was a waste of resources as judged by our entire Lean Team. The presenters blame their inability to find anything to "Lean" on our computerized ordering system which also controls shipping and inventory. No extra bodies or steps. If you look around and wonder what people are doing, then go for it. If you have your finger on the pulse of the company and know that waste is non-existant and your processes are streamlined and efficient, you do not need it. Oh we got a certificate to put in the Lobby. Big Deal. I could have made them one for a fraction of what it cost in time and money.
JMHO:ko: :smokin:
 
E

energy

#5
Nice Picture

Jim,

Great article, too! Those nice words about small wins, etc.. are, to me, just words. Through my working life, I have always tried to get people to be enthusiastic as I was (am) regarding changes that would be beneficial to the system. It was always met with stiff resistance due to the fact it was a change. A change in thinking. A change in a method. Unless it is driven from those with the horsepower, no one listens or cares. I had some success within my own department because it was my department. Any changes made to the system regarding Quality Controls were greeted with " That's what we have you for." It would not catch on unless I force fed it to other Managers through their Superiors. The idea is sound enough, if it were allowed. I have also seen bright energetic people implement new ideas without clearing it through their supervisors and end up gone. It was seen as power play and nothing more. You must have the backing of Top Management to do those things that you want to do. So, while it may not begin at the Top, it must appear to have come from the Top. You cannot move them if they choose not to. JMHO:ko: :smokin:
 
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A

Archer

#6
Norman

Thanks so much for all value suggestions.. Everyone in the forum is so kind and nice.. By the way, if anyone could give me some useful sites about lean, please tell me

Regards
Norman
 
E

energy

#7
Re: Norman

Originally posted by Archer
Thanks so much for all value suggestions.. Everyone in the forum is so kind and nice.. By the way, if anyone could give me some useful sites about lean, please tell me

Regards
Norman
It's a start. Good luck! Steve Pemberton [email protected]

:ko: :smokin:

How could I be so forgetful? :bonk: Marc has approx. 26 files on Lean Mfg. in the "Premium Files". Have to join though! Or buy the file set! How's that, Boss? :vfunny: :smokin:
 
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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#8
Norman,

Here is a link that might help: http://www.lean.org/

This site is run by Jim Womack and Dan Jones, two folks who learned Lean from the Japanese and brought it back to the States. They are recognized as the leading authorities here and have a site to promote articles, forums, links and sales of materials.

Jim correctly points out that the leader can be from any level. He also points out that the top managers must also convert to lead the charge. This eludes to energy's point that one's sphere of influence is generally limited to those that work directly for them. The odds of a middle manager becoming the leader and affecting change beyond their sphere are remote. The middle manager must basically rely on critical mass being developed below in all areas in order for that to happen. How often does your organization experience Revolution? And even if one started, how long before the King crushes the resistance?

One of the problems I see is that many in leadership positions are not leaders and lack leadership skills. The reliance cannot be on leadership if one does not possess leadership skills, a vision, and those to support it. Many top managers resort to what they know and what works best - movement. Movement in the form of incentives or harsh criticism, either way, they move folks to do things by doing things to them. Nothing inspiring about that!!

On Harrington's comment: Basically, he is right. However, one must be cognizant of suboptimization. While you are fervently working on yourself and your area, you may be making matters worse elsewhere. Additionally, if you improve the middle without improving the ends, then gains are effectively neutralized while creating more irritation to yourself. The Red Beads are in order here or if you have The New Ecomomics, look up the comments of Williing Worker Mary (Anne?) somewhere after the experiment. Her comments are quite appropriate here.

On Peter's comment: I don't know that much about Peter's nor what preceeds this snippo, but this comment is suggestive that one can make a difference just by 'doing'. As Dr. Deming once said, "Do something! Do it know! Do what?!" This is precisely what is wrong, in my opinion. We have many managers charging this way and that way without a common AIM. This only makes matters worse. We need focus. Additionally, the notion that one must be 'doing something' at every minute is wrong. Sometimes, people standing idly by is more desirable than having them do something that isn't needed. I will agree with Peter's on his point of 'starting'. We need to get out of the gate, but do so with purpose, not for the sake of doing something without one. I cringe at those who will make a comment like, "Why bother starting. Nobody will care." or a comment like "Why vote. It's only one vote anyway." Simply stated: the game is over and you lost because you didn't show up, not because you lacked ability. What is necessary is an informed decision. Not thinking about the purpose of one's efforts will keep people busy, but probably only expend resources unwisely and not get you very far.

Purpose is established by Top Management. They set the goals and objectives of the business and as such, must acknowledge that they must lead initiatives (strategic and tactical efforts, i.e. Lean/ISO/other) to achieve them. Harrington is dead wrong, in my opinion, if he thinks a COO or anyone in a leadership role can delegate this away (ref. Minding Our Business article). The initiative is doomed and as energy points out, so is the poor sap charged with making it happen.

Well, somebody else's turn...

Kevin
 
E

energy

#9
True Story

Originally posted by Kevin Mader
how long before the King crushes the resistance?
Purpose is established by Top Management. They set the goals and objectives of the business and as such, must acknowledge that they must lead initiatives (strategic and tactical efforts, i.e. Lean/ISO/other) to achieve them. Harrington is dead wrong, in my opinion, if he thinks a COO or anyone in a leadership role can delegate this away (ref. Minding Our Business article). The initiative is doomed and as energy points out, so is the poor sap charged with making it happen.
Well, somebody else's turn...
Kevin
Just a short example. Not too long ago, Corporate (located out of state) hired a MBA type and told him they have complete authority to make the necessary changes to improve the company. I was ecstatic when he approached me and actually asked me what he can do to make my life easier in the Quality Arena. He assumed the role of Quality Manager in our efforts to get our Industrial Electrical Panels UL certified. We obtained the certification. He made changes to the open door policy we had that allowed employees to cry about anything they chose to the GM. They had to go through their Supervisors. Enforcement of company rules and policies, such as Safety Regulations and the Quality Manual. Nothing terrible. It was good to see someone attempting to change a culture that I abhorred. Employees would speed around on forklifts, carrying passengers, hitting walls and not reporting who was responsible. Throwing things, spraying each other with water hoses. Fun stuff. It was impossible to get people to sign off checklists and other Quality records. After the product was shipped, there was a mass sign off of all the required data because the Customer would surprise them and want a copy. They knew it was important but refused to do the right thing. This Manager called people in and reminded them what their responsibilities were. Warnings were issued. They didn’t like that. They cried to Top. Within a year this bright Manager was gone. Slowly, they whittled down his authority, undermined him and basically snubbed their collective noses at him. I was told to stay clear of him because he was history. This was approx. two months before he quit. This started at the Top. The Top loved the attention and worship he got from the underlings. When the MBA left, he told me “I will never work for anybody again”. He now owns and operates his own panel manufacturing company. It’s a sad story and true. It also was lesson to those who thought that they were going to change things from what they were.

No, I do not work there anymore, but, Top is here. Sought me out from another place of employment, made me an offer and I'm here. The major difference is that he scared sh-tless of the CEO and changed substantially. Now, he does a lot of things that the MBA tried to do. He runs a pretty tight ship, or it's his :ca: Again proving that it all starts at the top of the Top.
:ko: :smokin:
 
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