Organisations who are implementing lean or change initiatives come to recognise sooner or later, that no matter how robust and logical their processes and systems are, they need their people to buy into the new way of working in order for them to take responsibility for its success.
However, they may not be sure how to go about that. and their lean consultants are likely to be technical and process experts rather than experts in human behaviour and culture change
We worked with a blue chip FMCG company who were well down the lean implementation route when they realised that people weren’t really getting behind it. In fact, a small but influential minority were actively undermining it.
We worked alongside the lean consultants and site team to successfully align people behind the new systems and to start actively contributing to adapting them on site, so they worked well and made sense to the operators.
We spent 6 months on each of 3 different sites, training everyone from the Plant Director to the Shift Managers in facilitation and coaching skills and shadowed them in meetings and coaching conversations, giving immediate feedback on their skills, strengths, and development needs to embed the new culture of engagement and ownership.
They went from feeling that lean was being imposed from on high by people who didn’t understand their particular demands and constraints, to workers at all levels from plant director, to production line staff feeling they owned the process and were responsible for making it a success.