2) Change must be in the leadership methods.
Group work requires a change in our management methods. This means
a real change in our leadership style. No longer can a supervisor or
manager dictate. He has to participate more on a level of a
facilitator. This is the reason the statistics show that in the
United States we have one supervisor for every ten employee's while
Japan has one supervisor for every one hundred employee's. It is no
longer the supervisors role to herd his employee's like cattle, but
to let them explore their creative talents to solve problems. The
leaders' responsibility is to remove the roadblocks that may prevent
The process of managing the different environments are fundamentally
alike. What counts is the effect upon the individuals that one has
supervisory responsibility for. We have heard that our actions speak
louder than our words. These actions may be well founded but in fact
these actions may be perceived as reactions. This builds up barriers
between management and workers. I believe that leadership is a
factor of 5% given by the position, and 95% earned. This earning
process requires open communication and shared leadership within the
organization or function that one is responsible for. That means the
primary responsibility of a leader is to build up well trained,
One fallacy within most American manufacturing organizations is
that to be a good manager you don't need to know the details of the
functional group in which you are managing. Another one is that if
you have been a good worker, or operator, you will make a good
supervisor. These are nonsense—look at Japan. Not only do their
managers understand the particular function they are responsible
for, they have spent years in cross training in parallel functions.
They also possess the background and training in managing people to
integrate them with technology.
3) The vehicle of change is education and reeducation.
The vehicle of change is education and re-education at two levels.
The first level is fact transfer. Fact transfer is based on generic
applications, such as; first cut, and technical issues that relate
to the change desired. This provides the individuals with an insight
to the reasons why, and starts to break down the ties to the old.
The second level is behavioral change. Behavioral change addresses
the prac-tical applications that affect one's job and the new
environment. This is similar to knowing how to lose weight (fact
transfer) and actually losing weight (behavioral change).
Commitment to truth is the simple strategy for behavioral change.
This often seems inadequate to most people. "Why do I need to change
my behavior?" "How do I change my underlying belief?" We often look
for formulas and techniques, something tangible that we can apply
to solve the problem. But, in fact, being committed to truth is far
more effective than any technique.
This commitment means more than just a quest for "truth." It is a
willingness to relentlessly root out the ways we limit or deceive
ourselves from seeing what is, and to continually challenge our
beliefs of why things are the way they are. It means continually
broadening our awareness, just as the great athlete with
extraordinary peripheral vision keeps trying to see more of the
playing field. Organizations with the ability to master this see
more than individual cause and effect. They see the hierarchy of
business structural conflicts which underlie their own behavior.
They attack the problem rather than the symptom.
The key to this process is that the leaders have to be interwoven
into the education process fully understanding their new roll. The
approach is to train leaders and leaders of leaders to build up a
pyramid which can reach into the masses to promote group work
methods throughout the organization.
Once this re-education process is implemented the groups that are
formed become the catalyst for change and problem solving. These
groups also set up a forum to integrate people with technology.
Within these groups the learning process is continuous. Peter M.
Senge defines this as "continually expanding an organizations
capacity to create its future." This is in fact what moves the
organization to the desired change and allows for change to be a way
of life on an on-going basis. The company that can react to
opportunities faster than their competitors are going to be the
successful companies of the nineties.
To be Continued
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02
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