What is answer to this dilemma? I believe the
answer is rooted in understanding the human factors that cause all
of us to avoid moving from our current comfort zone to a new one.
It appears that the companies that have been successful have been
able to incorporate change because they have the courage to stop
talking, stop promising, stop debating and just jump in the pool.
In short .... take action!
How do you get a car started on a cold morning
when the battery isn't dead, but doesn't have enough juice to
start the car? It takes a Jumpstart.
Here are the critical elements that provide an
effective Jumpstart for an organization to begin moving from one
comfort zone to the next:
1. Declare that change is not up for a vote.
We must immediately end the debate about
whether significant changes in how we run the business are going
to occur or not. The answer is, they are! Pritchett &
Associates have identified three absolutes for change: Change
is here to stay. Change will not be problem-free. You are
accountable for leading yourself and others through the change
process. In short, make sure everyone in the organization
understands that if they are not prepared to change, they should
probably consider working elsewhere. What we need to do is not
debate whether changes will occur, but help people understand what
they can expect to experience and how to effectively overcome the
human emotions that resist change.
2. Focus your resources.
Too much to do in too little time is a common
feeling in many companies. "We have too much on our plate
already," is a common reaction. The thought of adding more
tasks immediately causes resistance. The answer? Pick a few things
and do them real well. We simply cannot allow the organization to
continue trying to simultaneously focus on a multitude of tasks.
Acronym camps, JIT, MRP II, Empowerment, PEI, TQM, are killing us.
We've made it appear that these are separate alternative
approaches. Most people are trying to do too many things at the
same time. While acronyms served an effective purpose at one time,
we must disband them and get back to focusing on our business
3. Results-oriented efforts.
In many companies, training everyone in the new
concepts appears to be the objective! Implementing software,
certification and Teambuilding 101, SPC 303, etc., appear to be
the objective. Many companies even measure the effectiveness of
their efforts by the number of people they've trained, not in the
results they've achieved. We must identify the critical
performance areas that need improvement, such as inventory
reductions, shorter delivery times to customers, better product
reliability, shorter times to market or whatever is critical, and
focus on those few first.
4. A consensus vision.
Where are we headed and why? We need everyone in the
organization to share a vision of how the place is supposed to
operate. For example, we're going to run this business by getting
everything done on time, we're going to manufacture in quantities
that match our need and are yet economical. We're going to have
partnerships with suppliers and measure performance on other than
just invoice price. We're going to delegate responsibility for
decision making and eliminate the costly layers of supervision.
We're going to have schedules we can depend on and meet them 100%
of the time in the factory with suppliers, engineering, etc. These
are a few of the critical elements of the vision we need to
explain to the masses. In short, we want everyone to have a common
understanding and vision of how this company will operate in the
future. The challenge then becomes overcoming the obstacles of
getting from where are are today to reaching our vision. Progress
will be measured not on reaching the vision, but hitting the
interim short-term goals that are consistent with the vision.
To be Continued
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