Company Values, Vision, and Mission Must Be Shared
Teams in business can learn a lot from teams in sports. Many of the
attributes of a successful sports team need to be mimicked or copied
by teams in business. Let's take an example. Have you ever heard of
a winning sports team where everyone did not clearly understand what
the vision and the mission of the team were? If it's baseball, it's
winning the World Series. If it's football, it's winning the Super
Bowl. If it's basketball, it's winning the NBA Championship.
Manufacturing teams as well must have a common vision and a common
mission that everyone clearly understands in order to be successful.
This is much more than slogans in the cafeteria or a large banner
displaying the company mission. Everyone needs to understand how
they directly contribute to accomplishing the organization's
mission. What every person works on, every hour of every day, must
be consistent with and in harmony with the company's vision,
mission, and objectives.
Management's Paradigms Must Change
In many organizations, management is looking for the million-dollar
solutions. In fact, in many organizations, that's exactly what the
suggestion box system is for. That is, looking for that one solution
that's going to save the company a million dollars. The dynamics of
that suggestion box process require that management be the expert.
Management sorts out the suggestions from the suggestion box and
determines what are the good suggestions and what are the
not-so-good suggestions and, in fact, rewards people for making
contributions that management perceives are congruent with
management's objectives (whatever those objectives might be).
For many years it has been management's job to look for the problem,
study the solution, determine how to implement the solution, and
then direct the implementation of that change. Management is not
used to asking people what they think.
Management has neither the time nor the ability to implement all of
the solutions that need to be implemented in the competitive arena
of the 90s. In fact, management doesn't even know what all the
problems are. The new paradigms of Productive Work Teams are that we
have to recognize the workers really are the experts. They're the
ones that know what the detail, underlying, day-to-day issues are.
They are also the ones who can best analyze the alternative
solutions and then implement the ones that are most appropriate to
the situation. The way to make money in the 90's is to implement
hundreds of one dollar and five dollar solutions, and not wait for
that one big million dollar solution.
A New Methodology Is Needed
A. Specific Objectives
The more specific management objectives can be, the more specific
the results will be. One of the major failings of teams over the
years has been that management has not provided to the people on the
teams what the objectives of that business and the team were. As a
result, the accomplishments of teams in companies that have been
disappointed amounted to identifying the need for new lines in the
parking lot, or more tables in the cafeteria. Objectives must be
clear, concise, and understood by all.
B. Team Skills Are Required
If the objective of Productive Work Teams is to implement a large
number of solutions at a very rapid pace, then teams must have both
team and individual skills in order to get that done. Just as the
members of a softball team possess specific skills, a manufacturing,
team requires skills as well. Those team skills are:
1. Participation Skills
2. Meeting Management Skills
3. Process Thinking Skills
4. Problem Solving Skills
5. Presentation Skills Participation Skills
People on teams need to understand the roles and responsibilities
of each member of the team. They need to understand how to deal with
different personalities, how to use conflict constructively, and how
to reach a consensus as a team. The confidence of the team as a
whole is a direct result of each individual team member knowing what
to expect and how to participate as a member of an effective team.
Meeting Management Skills
The ability to plan, organize, and conduct a team meeting is
critical for the work team to make effective use of their time. They
need to understand how to develop and follow an agenda, how to
conduct a meeting, and how to conclude a meeting by publishing
concise meeting minutes with action items and responsibilities for
each individual team member.
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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