Rising to the Challenge
With "time" as the currency for the 1990's, every passing moment
impacts our ability to become formidable champions in the World
Class competitive arena. An essential resource, people, is still
being touted as the critical ingredient for successful companies.
Yet the transformation process agents such as empowerment,
channeling "intellectual energy" and overcoming the mundane is
creeping along at a snails pace in most companies.
onsequently, companies are not exploiting the many talents that
people can bring to the table. Individuals are still servants of the
information processing function rather than using information to
assist them in decision support (what percentage of time is the
corporate employee body spending in data manipulation, leafing
through paper reports and conducting information due diligence
"research projects" versus decision making and execution?).
The challenge for those companies who are serious about exploiting
the full spectrum of employee talent base relies upon an inherent
change in the culture of the company structure. In addition to
transforming performance measurements from the hierarchical to
process orientation, the identification of every individual's
contribution competency must be defined. The mundane tasks people
are performing, which could be much faster performed by computers,
will be an essential ingredient to create the time needed to conduct
the necessary skills inventory and deploy individual talents
currently unexploited into their areas of interest and strength.
We continue to recruit without identifying if, per chance, the skill
needed already exists within our existing unexploited talent base.
Our recruiting activity is still technical and skill focused rather
than team player focused, causing continual disruptions to the
value of existing talent base. We can never recover from wasted
and/or passed time which has not taken advantage of every employee
talent asset. The companies who are postured to exploit the full
complement of skills for the entire employee population will surface
as the performance leaders as the 21st Century dawns. Our window of
opportunity narrows with each passing day.
Our teams tend to flounder as they await senior management priority
in defining the policy latitudes from which the team's decision
authority is to operate. Consequently, symptoms of procrastination
permeate the effectiveness of the team deliverables. Procrastination
is the death of "fast cycle" responsiveness. Removing decision
barriers is an essential ingredient in Top Management's new job
description. Radical progress is needed to allow cross-functional
decisions to become fluid and transpire as a normal course of daily
business. Management must aggressively transition from being the
bottleneck in the decision process toward driving the decision
authority to the lowest operating levels.
A "visionary company's" quest for the remainder of the 1990's should
demonstrate the following . . .
• A passion for Quality
• Responsiveness to the customer (customer centered vision)
• Agility and Flexibility
• Continuous improvement driven
• "Fast Cycle" adeptness
• Ability to change, and, do it quickly
The management leadership may be challenged and the company's
viability placed at risk if change does not occur quickly. Thriving
on change will require the management team to demonstrate
unparalleled mastery of...
• Information tools
• Productivity improvements
• Process performance measurements
• Agility and Flexibility
• Customer centered responsiveness
We are at a critical juncture to inspire the radical changes needed
which will allow the U. S. to surface as a world leader in
manufacturing again. The key to the future is how we handle the
change in light of a "faster, better, cheaper" theme.
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02
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