What is the definition of insanity, at least from business perspective? It is doing the same things repeatedly, expecting different results. Many organizations on a Lean journey believe they can change their culture by embracing the idea of Lean, training everyone, and wait to see the changes. However, they do not do anything different, nor do they set the stage for changes. By that, I mean they are not demanding anything different, creating a reward or recognition system for changes, leading by example, or set timelines or schedules for implementation of any changes. They might even train employees over and over in the same techniques assuming they just forgot the training.
However, the simple truth is this – an organization does not change its culture by learning something different. It changes it culture by DOING something different. Culture change doesn’t come when folks inside the organization know something new and different, or when they intend something different, or they think differently, or that they have a different managing philosophy. It only starts when folks inside the organization do something different, and it is sustained when they continue to do something different over time.
When it comes to implementing a Lean culture, it is not enough to train people and then expect change. Yes, training is important as without it, changes come very haphazardly, without structure or sustainability. An organizations’ leadership has to set the stage for those changes to occur. This includes giving time and resources to ideate, pilot and implement changes, grant grace if those changes aren’t all successes, lead by example when possible, reward and recognize efforts and successes, provide examples and benchmarks for comparisons and set schedules for implementation of changes.
At MAMTC, we are experts at both providing the coaching and implementation to help an organization adapt a Lean culture. Contact us when you are ready to break the cycle of insanity.