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Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Organization
38th Edition  
 
 
The topic for this edition is:  
  • Developing a Lean Culture - An Elements Checklist (Part 2 of 2) 
NEW! Policy Deployment Certification Training
Certified Lean Policy Deployment
Facilitator (CLPDF) Training
 
Policy Deployment is the most powerful Lean activity your organization will ever accomplish! 
 
South Suburban College - Oak Forest Campus
Session Pre-requisites: Certified Lean Facilitator, Lean Master Facilitator, SME certification, Maryland World Class Consortia certification, or equivalent.
 
Purpose of Session: To give participants the skills and abilities to be able to:
1)      Demonstrate to their organizations the need for Policy Deployment
2)      Facilitate their organization through the complete 10 Step Policy   Deployment process
 
Materials Required for the Session: A list of your company's current/next fiscal year top-level business goals (real or disguised). 
 
 Session Details:
  • September 27th through October 1st (5 Days - 8 am to 5 pm each day)
  • Location: South Suburban College, Oak Forest, Illinois Campus (South of O'Hare airport)
  • Maximum of 12 participants
  • At the end of this week of training, participants receive a South Suburban College certificate with 37.5 contact hours of training, which the individual may be eligible to apply for professional CEUs.
  • Session facilitator - Vince Fayad
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  • Thoroughly understand the need for his/her organization to do Policy Deployment if they wish to fully utilize Lean's potential to improve his/her organization and become World Class.
  • Present Policy Deployment in a convincing fashion to his/her organization's Leadership Team.
  • Facilitate and Lead his/her organization through the 10 Step process so a business plan can be developed that meets the business objectives/goals of the organization.
  • Follow-up on the process and the Monthly Business Reviews to ensure that Lean and Policy Deployment are the "system" by which his/her organization runs its business. 
To Register for this session, please contact:
Nancy Burrows
Business & Career Institute
South Suburban College 
58 W. 162nd Street
South Holland, IL 60473
708.596.2000 ext. 2556
            nburrows@ssc.edu
 
"Our mission is to Serve our Students and the Community through lifelong learning."
 
For more information and pricingClick Here
Developing a Lean Culture - An Elements Checklist (Part 2 of 2)
All organizations have cultures, whether the Leadership Team has guided its development or the culture develops on its own. Culture can have a positive or negative impact on the organization's performance.
 
by Larry Rubrich 
In Part 1, it was established that a Lean culture develops in two parts:
  • Part 1 - Developing a Cultural Framework or Structure (this can be done quickly) 
  • Part 2 - Establishing a "People and Team Based" Environment and filling in the framework (this generally takes years)
Part 1, Developing a Cultural Framework, is established in three steps: 
 
1)  Establishing "Guiding Principles" or "Behavioral Expectations" for the entire organization
 
2) Linking HR policies and procedures to the Behavioral Expectations and the Lean vision and implementation
 
3)  Establishing organizational leadership and management principles
 
Part 2Establishing a "People and Team Based Environment" is also developed in three steps:
 
1) Organization-wide communication
 
2) An organization-wide environment of empowerment
 
3) Organization-wide teamwork   
 
 
Organization-wide Communication
 
The goal of organization-wide communication is to make sure all company associates consistently get updates to the organization's purpose, goals, and plans and how they will participate in, or be affected by any changes. (Updates to the "Team Playbook.") This communication, when established as two-way, empowers associates to make changes in how they do their work to adjust to the announced changes. 
 
The ultimate goal of this communication is to make sure that all associates know what is going on within the organization and have a picture of what the organization needs to look like in the future. Without this knowledge, which empowers and gives autonomy to the workforce, they cannot operate at high levels of performance because they are distracted by the rumors and gossip that develop when there is inadequate communication. (Rumors have the sole purpose in life of filling in gaps in communication.)
 
A great communication plan includes both verbal and visual communication and requires a way of measuring the effectiveness of the communication.   
 
The responsibility for developing and implementing an organization's communication plan is the company's Leadership Team (generally defined as the facility's top manager and their direct reports). Communication guidelines should follow the advertising world's four-times rule (a person doesn't understand an ad until they have heard/seen it four-times). This means the message must be repeated through multiple different settings/ways such as organization-wide meetings, area/supervisor meetings, bulletin boards, check stuffers, and company newsletters.     
 
Measuring communication effectiveness must occur and can be accomplished in several ways: 
  • One of the best ways is for the Leadership Team members to walk through the organization on a regular basis (which they should be doing already) and randomly ask associates probing questions about the news, ideas, issues, or problems that have been communicated. Questions should begin with what, when, how, and why so the answer cannot be just a yes or no. 
  • Some organizations measure the effectiveness of their visual communication techniques by debriefing extended length visitors (say 2 days or more) about what they learned about the company during their stay. 
  • An extremely accurate way of measuring communication effectiveness is to have an outside company do associates surveys. When everyone is convinced the survey is blind, accurate information will be received.
Some organizations try to do surveys with their own Human Resources (HR)department but this is not recommended because the blindness of the survey may be questioned by the associates and the results have an opportunity to be manipulated. 
 
At one organization, we told the Leadership Team they should have an outside company conduct a survey because we believed there was an inadequate level of two-way communication in the organization. The CEO assured us we were wrong because their own HR department had been doing internal surveys that showed otherwise. (Later we were told confidentially by a member of the HR department that they manipulated the survey data to make sure it met the CEO's expectations. Apparently a couple of survey data messengers were "shot" before the HR people figured out what the CEO wanted.)
    
It should be noted that building an organization that does a great job of communicating (as measured by the company's associates responses to externally developed surveys) also begins the development of organization-wide teamwork, since great two-way communication is the first requirement for teamwork to develop in any organization.  
  
An Organization-wide Environment of Empowerment 
 
Empowerment is not something we do to another person. The best we can do, as leaders, is to provide an environment where empowerment can occur. Leaders cannot just announce or proclaim that their people are "now empowered." They must be proactive in establishing an environment conducive to an empowered workforce. Here are cultural elements of an empowering environment:
  • Associates are recognized as the organization's most valuable resource
  • Teamwork is utilized throughout the organization
  • Decision making is delegated
  • Openness, initiative, and risk taking are promoted
  • Accountability, credit, responsibility, and ownership are shared (ownership means psychological ownership, not stock certificate ownership)
The largest single barrier to empowerment is the lack of communication. 

It is important to understand that associate empowerment is an evolutionary process, not a revolutionary one.
 

Organization-wide teamwork
 
The four components required for teamwork to develop in an organization are:
 
1) High levels of two-way communication (we covered and mentioned this in the
     beginning of this article) 
 
2) Team members with diverse backgrounds
 
3) Common purpose/motivated by mission
 
4) Common goals/measurements 
 
 
Component #2 - Team diversity
 
The most creative, best problem solving teams are those with team members that have diverse backgrounds. Diversity allows the composite team to view problems/opportunities from many angles or facets - a 360 degree/global view. Every person working on a problem sees the problem from "their angle," facet, or frame of reference. This angle is determined by the person's background, education, experiences, and culture (BEEC). These factors force a person into viewing the problem from that angle or frame of reference. If there are 10 people on a team (or think of it as 9 clones of the same person) and they all have similar BEEC factors, great or even good creativity or problem solutions will not occur because the problem/opportunity is not seen in its entirety. Will the cloned BEEC team come up with a solution, yes. Will it ultimately, in time, be viewed as a good solution, no.

 
Components #3 (Common purpose/motivated by a mission) and #4 (Common goals/measurements) are usually lumped together. 
 
Everyone in the organization must have customer satisfaction as a common purpose and goal so all will pull in that direction. What things prevent everyone from pulling in the direction of customer satisfaction?   

Departmentalization and the lack of "system thinking" are two of them. (We talked in our previous edition about how departmentalization inhibits common purpose and goals). We broadly define the system as the processes required from the time the customer places the order for a product or service, until the service is performed, or the product ships. System thinking requires that all decisions/improvements in an organization are made based on its impact on the 'system efficiency.' If a suggested improvement will improve department efficiency, but will negatively impact the system efficiency, it is not done.
 
It should be noted that Policy Deployment covers the development of components 3 and 4 in its process.
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2010 WCM Associates
 
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