1. First explain why
current business processes simply don't give us the level of
performance necessary to compete in today's global market.
Competitors, frequently new upstart companies here and abroad,
haven't read the rule book. They were ignorant to all the reasons
that service and products couldn't be delivered faster without
defects and with more variety. Double-digit improvements in
everything they do is commonplace. If we continue to do more of the
same, we'll only get the same results, and we won't survive. Look at
the giants of many industries that are on the front page of the Wall
Street Journal everyday announcing more and more cutbacks, loss of
market share, loss of prestige, loss of profits, and loss of people.
The issue at hand is survival.
2. Change is
simply do not have the luxury of debating whether change is
necessary or not. The successful companies didn't leave the
necessity of changing up for a vote. Key leaders at the top mandated
that change was inevitable to not only survive but prosper. Jack
Welch at General Electric is a good example.
3. Minimize transition
time to the new comfort zone
During the transition,
there will be a lot of disruption and loss of effectiveness. We
can't stretch out the transition time and let it
evolve at a slow pace. How can we minimize the time? Climb the
ladder with our eyes open. Anticipate the inevitable, normal human
reactions and become proactive in minimizing them. During the
transition we'll frequently find some questions and issues arise
that don't have immediate answers. There will be some distrust. Many
people will be looking for proof. They will be confused about their
roles, the new terminology and suspicious of hidden agendas. Early
successes and open dialogue will dilute these roadblocks.
4. Quickly reach a
mean the vision statement that is in the Annual Report or that's
framed in the lobby. Those vision statements are valuable, but we
need to go to the next level of detail. We need everyone in the
organization to clearly see where we are going. They must understand
what this business will look like and how it will be run.
vision doesn't have to be achievable or even practical. We're not
going to measure the success or failure of reaching the vision. We
are going to set goals and measure success as achieving the goals.
The goals will be consistent with the vision.
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5. Overcome the
people are often stuck in their comfort zone because of the
paradigms that filter new ideas and blur their vision that the new
ideas will work. They often respond with "Impossible."
Joel Barker points out that when there is a major paradigm shift,
everyone goes back to zero. The skills and ability that enabled a
lot of people to get raises and promotions become worthless. Picture
the Purchasing Manager who was promoted from Buyer because of his or
her ability to play hardball negotiating and now we're asking that
they become part of a friendly partnership! How about the Shop
Foreman whose strength is maximizing utilization, and keeping
everyone busy who is now asked to empower the people, letting them
make the decisions, and his job now is to "facilitate!"
these people have not had an opportunity to be exposed to new
concepts and ideas. For example, consider the laborer in the field
digging a two foot deep, three foot wide ditch for a hundred yards
and we ask him, "Why aren't you using a backhoe?" His
response, "What's a backhoe?" Give the same individual a
backhoe demonstration, an opportunity to learn how to use it, and
they'll gladly lay down the shovel. The same holds true for the
Purchasing Agent, the Shop Foreman, and a host of other people that
we're asking to make a paradigm shift. An initial investment in
making key people aware of new ideas, i.e., educating, is essential.
6. Minimize risk
the grandiose promises and high expectations when we brought in the
first computer system? Remember Quality Circles? Remember a long
list of other great ideas that now reside on Boot Hill? And what
happened to the people associated with each of these? Some aren't
even here any longer. Others had their careers tarnished when they
with the "failure." This long list of
"misfires" make them skeptical.
7. Focus Resources
much to do and so little time"—The most common complaint I
How do we get more
done? We aren't going to add more people. We probably have too many
already. We aren't going to get the people to work more hours
because they're already working six or seven days a week. The answer
is to raise the effectiveness. How do we do that? Focus on doing a
few things really well. The challenge becomes picking the right few.
To be Continued
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