Who is Bill Gaw?
And why should we listen to him?

 Lean Manufacturing Principles and Techniques 

 The Lean manufacturing, PPT Plus,
"Back-to-Basics" e-Training Package 

Lean Manufacturing Solutions

Increase the effectiveness of your
Lean Manufacturing Training Program

Lean Manufacturing Simulation Game 

The Learning Organization

Part 3 of 5

privacy policy

Contact Us

 To review our training 
 options, click on 
  the links below: 

e-Training Packages:

Lean manufacturing

Performance Management

Quality Mgmt. System

Inventory Management

Lean Six Sigma

Strategic Planning

     Other Options:   

Lean Manufacturing
Simulation Game

Continuous Improvement Process

Thinking Outside 
the Box Principles 

Lean Manufacturing
Certification Program

Kaizen Blitz/Events

1-Day, On-site

5-Day On-site
Manufacturing Survey
and Action Plan

The Vision

Change just for change's sake can be very dangerous. The Learning Organization is driven with a vision that is shared and understood at all levels. This understanding is more than written words or verbal communication. It has to be very specific yet allow the individual to personally see himself or herself belonging to the achievement process of the total. This then becomes their personal vision of the whole. These visions bind us together in a common bond, a breaking down of the layers and filters that keep us apart. (See Figure 4.)

Building the Learning Organization

The conduct by which we run our manufacturing firms in the U. S. is not innate. It was acquired through years and years of not having any real outside competitive pressures. After World War II the U.S. could do no wrong. Whatever we produced we sold to a market that we dominated. This domination was not a result of superior talents, but in fact existed because we were the only ones to buy from. As our success moved forward we patted ourselves on the back and evolved into our present state.

The state that we find ourselves in is not a painted picture. It is a living process that has evolved over the years, composed of countless social interactions. It's like a river whose form and velocity are determined by the balance of forces that tend to make the water flow faster and the forces of friction that tend to make the water flow more slowly—these forces establish a balance of counteracting forces to give an 'Equilibrium In Movement'.

The speed of production, as with other aspects of manufac­turing must be understood as an equilibrium. Once a flow is established, certain self-regulatory processes come intoplay to maintain a relative constant flow. Special occasions may bring about momentary changes for a small amount of time in the social atmosphere between management and workers, which in turn, effects a short lived rise in produc­tion or quality. When the "shot in the arm" fades out, the basic forces will re-establish the old forms of every-day living. These are the forces that must be torn down in order to establish a new learning pattern and bring permanent change.

The Atmosphere

The Learning Organization requires change. Change of leadership forms in every aspect of the manufacturing process. Change must be powerful, enduring, and interwo­ven into everyday business activity. Change must encom­pass the way we run, measure, and communicate within our business environment. This change should include increased emphasis on human values, "Kill The Grapevine, Promote The Facts." Change must occur in a group atmosphere to build a strong "WE" feeling.

Change implies that the leadership must be re-educated to build up a strong foliowership. The process requires training of leaders and leaders of leaders to build a pyramid that reaches into the entire organization. Max Depree, Chairman & CEO of Herman Miller Inc. says, "Leadership is an art about giving employees space so that we can both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, joy, dignity, healing, and inclusion. Leaders owe their workers a rational environment that values trust and human dignity and provides the opportunity for personal development and self-fulfillment."

Techniques of Change

1) Change has to be in a group atmosphere.

Change has to be a change of group atmosphere rather than of single items. Technically this means that change cannot be accomplished by learning tricks. As individuals we are connected or interwoven into all aspects which effect the life of our company. This is correct psychologically as well as historically. This can be shown if we look at ideologies within different countries. Let's take a look at the United States—a real melting pot of different nationalities, races, and religions. It took many years for the U.S. to actually enter World War II and only after it touched upon a common thread that binds us together as Americans. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a shock to reality. This created the strong "we feeling" that bound us together as a nation and forced us to that action. Prior to Pearl Harbor there were many factions within the U. S. that were strongly supportive of the United States helping our allies. But it wasn't until we were jolted into reality that we actually declared war.

It's these common values that are at the foundation of the Learning Organization. When the industrial age began, people worked 6 days a week to earn enough for food and shelter. Today, most of us have these accomplished by Tuesday afternoon. Our traditional hierarchical organiza­tions are not designed to provide for people's higher order of needs, self-respect and self-actulazation. American manufacturing companies will continue to flounder until they begin to address these needs, for all employees.

Group work begins to build these common values and creates a strong "we" feeling. Group work also provides each employee the opportunity of sharing the problems as well as the decisions that effect his or her life. Group work is the mechanism that unleashes our greatest resource and at the same time increases morale and overall commit­ment. These are accomplished by setting up a cross func­tional structured process involving employees in problem solving teams to augment change and achieve improve­ment in quality/cost/productivity at the same time. The result is a dynamic increase in our overall organizational effectiveness.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02


To stay current on manufacturing competitive knowledge, please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics and Best Practices (MBBP)."  Simply fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe button." 

We'll also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for Personal and Company Success."  

All at no cost of course. 

First Name:
Your E-Mail:

 Your personal information will never 
be disclosed to any third party.

privacy policy

Here's what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:

"Great articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."

               Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC

Lean Manufacturing Menu

Balanced Scorecard Training    Lean Manufacturing Implementation
Overview of Six Sigma    Inventory Reduction Techniques
Strategic Tactical Planning   Total Quality Management
Articles and MBBP Archives    Lean Management Training
Strategic Planning Training  Lean Six Sigma Training
Performance Management Training    Kaizen Training
Thinking Outside the Box Principles  Kaizen Blitz 
Lean Manufacturing Certification Program

Lean Manufacturing Improvement  Performance Management Improvement
ISO 9000:2000 Improvement  Continuous Process Improvement
Value Steam Mapping Improvement  Strategic Planning Improvement
Supply Chain Management Improvement

"Back to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596

© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC