As you know I’m usually in favor of a very communicative approach to talk a lot with each other and to develop a common goals. I am deeply convinced that this is the right way to develop a common Lean Thinking in your business.
However, I am also aware that sometimes some people have to be forced to change. You’ll need people who are willing to tackle the current mindset.
Think of Taiichi Ohno (one of the founders of the Toyota Production System), he not only made friends during his time in charge of the TPS. In fact he was quite often not far from being dismissed, if he had not had the backing of Eiji Toyoda.
The wishy-washy, you can hear from some coaches and consultants about involvement of all employees and the fact that they have to understand everything in order to embrace change is basically the right approach.
However if you are introducing Lean in your organization, you’ll encounter this distribution mindsets:
– 10% embrace Lean quite quickly and become a driving force behind change
– 80% are waiting, but not strictly against Lean
– 10% are strongly opposed to Lean and always know that there are other better ways.
I’m almost sure that you won’t be able to get those last 10% to embrace Lean no matter how much trianing and workshops you conduct with them.
But these are the people who will set traps to the other 10% who are positive about Lean.
You have to be very careful about your positive minded 10% not being burned in wear out struggles with the critics.
A Lean implementation is hard enough, you can not afford to lose your best men.
It is quite simple:
„Either you’re for or against us!“
Art Byrne wrote in his book „The Lean Turnaround“ that from the beginning he has been looking out for people, who he thought of being able to become a driving force for Lean. But at the same time those who did not show any support for the Lean philosophy, had to leave on the board of the company.
Out-of-the-box-thinking are always good. Those people bring a new perspective to your discussion. Encourage and keep such people.
But once a consensus decision was made, it should not be boycotted by cross drivers, otherwise your good people will tear down in the skirmishes with these cross-drivers.