What is the secret to sustainable improvements?
What you need to pay attention to, in order to successfully and sustainably improve your organization.
Bob Moran & Scott Staunton
The focus of your companies success is dependent upon highly successful and proven methods and tactics with the knowledge of how to deploy improvements in your organization. This will deliver achievable and sustainable Operational, Financial and Cultural Results.
We are going to deliver to you a clear understanding of how together you and we may create an action plan that will poise your organization for future success. As we share with you here the basis of a profitable growth culture that you can emulate for your revolution into a “culture of profitability”
The truth is that Operational Improvement successes can be sustained over time, if you just know and apply the essential building blocks. So much time (decades) and money (Billions of $$s) has been spent by industry with the intent to achieve long-lasting improvements, that turned out to be only One-Time events, with very short-term results.
Any idea why that is?
Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it was because when you did manage to get results in the past, they usually were not sustainable. This is because of a lack of attention to the importance of leadership’s role, effective communications, and accountability focused on process discipline.
You never really changed your operating culture, but simply declared victory and moved on to the next big thing.
Permanently improving the bottom line of your organization is a very difficult task, and more than just improving the availability of a machine, or improving a couple of KPI’s.
The reason why real, measurable, bottom line improvements are so difficult to get and hang on to is pretty simple. It all comes down to changing your organizational culture.
Cultures tend to resist change of any kind!
That’s why successful companies like Toyota and Shell, are so good at what they do. They are so focused about creating the right culture, that each and every new employee who joins the company first learns expectations, methods, and teamwork.
Your behaviors and practices determine your uptime, and overall production reliability…the holy grail of manufacturing.
All the best practices, and KPI’s in the world will do nothing for you, unless they drive changes in the behaviors of your people.
It all boils down to this:
- Your Culture is the sum of all the behaviors in your organization
- Your Culture absolutely determines the outcomes in your business
- To Change your culture and therefore your outcomes, you have to change the behaviors of all the people involved
What’s missing in most organizations is managing, measuring and enforcing these new behaviors.
If you change the behaviors sustainably, you will get a different culture and different bottom line results!
With these things in mind, just what do you need to pay attention to regarding changing your Culture?
Culture Change Ownership means everyone in your organization needs to own the change. It can’t be corporate’s change, or the plant manager’s change, or what we hear most often “it’s the consultants change project”; you all have to believe in it!
So your change process must be woven (Designed) into the fabric of your organization, and have everyone’s fingerprints all over it…and that takes some time!
If Management Engagement, where you work, is “do what I say — not what I do”, you will have already lost the whole war, not just the battle. You can stop right now and put your hands up in surrender. You are done! You are not going to realize sustainable benefits – period!
Your entire Management Team has to be part of the change process, not just observing and throwing rocks from the sidelines.
one person’s views present some solid ideas on the value of engaging your workforce
We have been on major projects where client Leadership has had to say that “the bus was now leaving the bus stop”, and wished anyone not on the bus, good luck in their future endeavors working somewhere else!
You absolutely cannot change your culture without an engaged and supportive team of managers and supervisors.
Active & Involved Leadership is an essential requirement for culture change success. The most successful projects that we have been involved in, in the past twenty years, are those that were actively lead from the top!
Where the top guy was leading from the front, we saw the best outcomes. Because most people are fascinated in what interests their boss the most.
Change that is allowed to just happen, without any clear and visible leadership, usually ends up in chaos, misdirection, disappointment and frustration.
What is required is a leader who can communicate a clear vision, and has the commitment to actively and personally see it through to successful completion.
Accountability is a tough one! We all seem to hate to have to tell someone what to do, or that they screwed up by the numbers. We have all become so politically correct, and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
The reason for this is often a result of not clearly setting expectations for your people up front. In fact we are all pretty terrible at it. It is tough to hold someone accountable in the first place, and even harder, if what you want them to do hasn’t been clearly communicated.
Holding people accountable is one of those basic managing and supervising tasks required for success. You just have to get used to doing it if you want to be able to change your culture.
Process Discipline is easier said than done. We all work in an environment that is full of rules and regulations. HSE rules and policies, Production steps to achieve a quality result, Maintenance procedures to insure equipment reliability, Logistics processes, etc.
Where we run into trouble is holding our people accountable for following all these policies and procedures. They were all created for good and valid reasons, so why do we let our folks get away with ignoring them. The culture you want, is the one where your people understand the reasons for behaving the way you want them to, and they do it!
Coach and Communicate is last, but certainly not least. In fact we could contend one of the most important opportunities for executives to address. How well do you communicate? Hands down, this is your biggest weakness; it is for everyone.
We somehow assume that the people that we work with are just like our spouses and teen aged offspring, who can read our minds, and anticipate our every wish flawlessly, right?
WRONG! The biggest shortcoming we observe, and hear about in EVERY organization we interact with, is poor or nonexistent or garbled communications.
We are still waiting to hear someone complain about too much or too clear communications.
If you think you are communicating too much, just double or triple it, and that should be just about right! This is a really important key in getting to the culture that you want.
So, if you want to learn more about how these Building Blocks can change the results of your improvement efforts, by changing your culture, you should read “Creating the Performance Culture”, by Brad Peterson, Chairman, SAMI.
And before we go…ask yourself and others in your company these three questions my friend:
- What could be the impact on our company if we were to implement a better Culture?
- Do you have any idea what the cost is to your business by staying the way you are today, and not changing?
- Do all your employees feel that they are living your company values?
You can contact us directly or visit our blog to learn more about how to attain and sustain improvements in your business.
Scott Staunton, Senior Vice President
Bob Moran, Operations Manager
Join "Let's Talk ..." Newsletter
Join "Let's Talk ..." Newsletter today. It's Free!
The group contribution and discussion is on learning and reliability!