5. Spread ownership throughout the company. We've picked all of
the low-hanging fruit.
The obvious opportunities with mergers,
cutbacks, acquisitions, etc., have been orchestrated by senior
management. Today we have millions of twenty-dollar problems that
need to be solved. And we have the people to do it. It requires
pushing the ownership for change and delegating the responsibility
for making decisions down to the hundreds of men and women in our
6. Increase the knowledge base.
We can't expect people to invent cycle
counting, methods for reducing changeover time, sales and
operations planning steps, work cells, and a host of other tools
that enable us to turn the vision into reality. Put a bunch of
farmers in an underdeveloped third-world country that currently
farm by turning the soil with a stick and planting the seeds one
at a time into a room and ask them to brainstorm, and they will
simply recommend sharper sticks. We must expose the masses in our
companies to the modern tools for reengineering our business
7. Build confidence with accomplishments. The
transition from the current comfort zone to a new one is
inevitably disruptive. People are skeptical, and rightfully so.
There is a lot of apprehension. As Joel Barker puts it, "When
a major paradigm shift occurs, everyone goes back to zero."
We're asking people to take the skills that probably allowed them
to get a promotion, increase their income, and raised their
self-esteem and abandon them. A purchasing agent that has been
effective using hardball negotiations, an expediter in the plant
and the leader of the informal system all of a sudden see
themselves as obsolete. And they are! We do have a place for them,
but it's a different place.
Many people see these new ideas or new paradigms as high-risk.
A small minority will be enthusiastic. A small
minority will be firmly entrenched and immovable. Most of the
people will be curious and skeptical. It's the curious and
skeptical that we must win over.
Prove to them that new ideas can work by doing it!
While it is tempting to identify only a handful
of opportunities that will achieve the maximum results, these
opportunities will also be the highest risk, take the longest to
do, and will be the most difficult. The initial focus must be to
build momentum, not build immediate impact on the income statement
and balance sheet. Let's initially focus our efforts on
opportunities that contain the following characteristics:
1. Small, not global.
2. Can be solved by small groups, not large teams.
3. Require little, if any, executive approval before
4. Are low-risk.
5. Make progress in areas that are important to executive
management, particularly the General Manager or CEO.
6. Measurable results can be achieved in 90
days or less. Everyone wants to be on a winning team. We have to
prove this is a winning effort. The volunteers will flock on board
immediately, people will have time to participate, and the
momentum will build with enthusiasm as the masses see a few people
reaching the new comfort zone!
On one hand, this is a frightening decade. On
the other hand, it's an exciting decade! Competitive pressures
make it mandatory that we raise performance in your company ... or
Doing more of the same will only yield the same
results. Therefore, change is inevitable.
Here's the good news. We've made changes before
and not only survived, but are better off. We don't use the same
equipment in our office or in the factory that we used twenty
years ago. Yet when we brought in the numerical control machine
tool, the word processor, or introduced a radical new product
line, everyone resisted the change from the old. Just try to get
them to return to the old ways today!
Focus on these critical elements to help
structure an effective change process, and I guarantee you
will see a Jumpstart in your quest for World Class Performance
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