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The purpose of this paper was to show how simplistic changes in people's attitudes and material flow patterns established the evolution needed for companies to master change and gain the competitive advantage via the teach­ing technique of an interactive workshop.

In the first section of this hands-on, group participation workshop, attendees learned the value of language usage needed for change, learned the leadership qualitites needed to invoke change, role-played the attitudes exhibited in the worst case, and then role-played the attitudes exhibited in the best case. Participants encountered the attitude changes that were necessary for competitive companies.

In the second section, participants took part in a hands-on game that demonstrated two different manufacturing phi­losophies: production to an MRP weekly, lot-sized sched­ule; and production to a synchronized daily Final Assembly Schedule which used a few JIT techniques.
Workshop attendees left understanding that change was truly simple to accomplish and therefore left with the tools needed to win all competitive battles.


English was the most widely used language in the history of our planet. One in every seven human beings spoke and more than half of the world's books and three-quarters of international mail were in English. English had the largest vocabulary—over two million words.

English was a crazy language in which writers write, but fingers didn't fing, humdingers didn't hum, and hammers didn't ham. A vegetarian ate vegetables but a humanitar­ian didn't eat humans!

In English, companies shipped by truck and sent cargo by ship. In English, a house burned down as it burned up, forms were filled in as you filled them out, and your alarm clock went off by going on! When the stars were out, they were visible, but when the lights were out, they were invisible!

The complexities of the language indicated concise, not terse, speaking and writing skills were necessary for quality communication.

Listening became effective when a leader practiced the observance of stated facts, non-verbal gestures, disqualify­ing and clue words, and unconscious information.

Listening based on leading toward making generalizations specific, mirroring back the communication, non-verbal mes­sages, investigation of assumptions, and building of trust to extract information provided productive communication.
Going to lunch or coffee together and personal chats led to the development of a friendly relationship and was a form of problem prevention.

Knowledge of background facts gave the edge of prepara­tion.

Pre-determined in the mind were the upper limits to be requested for agreement and the lower limits that could be accepted.

Transactional Analysis defused anger and anxiety. This well-known communication theory described every conver­sation, whether verbal or written, as a two-part transac­tion: stimulus and response.

Each stimulus was directed toward one of the three ego states and each response came from one of the ego states. Discovered were parallel transactions which communi­cated parent to child and child to parent. Transactions sometimes crossed instead of paralleled and implicated criticism. Another example of crossed communication was the response to parent to child of adult to adult. Nothing made people angrier than communications of parent to child.

Determined as important in interpersonal relationships were knowledge of and satisfaction of the egos (basic needs) of difficult people.

Use of open-ended questions elicited the responses of who, what, where, how many, show me, etc. Use of closed questions elicited company needs, productivity, profit, and the psychological needs of security, power and control, recognition and esteem, identity and belonging, and achieve­ment, creativity, and opportunity to grow. Revealed com­pany concerns created trust.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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