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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 this process.

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, self-managing teams.

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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