Everything Leads Back to the Overall Project…Engaging Employees

I have facilitated and experienced the benefits of Lean Six Sigma in both military and law enforcement. My experience tells me this. Everyone looking at making improvements, whether in the corporate setting, or in the public service sector, have one, and only one, main overarching project…figuring out how to get its workforce engaged enough to recognize opportunities for positive change on behalf of the customer, then being empowered to act upon those opportunities…in essence, it is the culture of the organization that is the project we should all be looking into making better. Every project I have been associated with, is really attributable to the main project…culture change. Certainly, not everyone will want to be a LEAN Facilitator or Six Sigma Black Belt, nor should they be. But, at some point, everyone seems to remember those days when we were all the newbies, sitting by idly as crazy things happened daily and made us go….hmmmmm, I wonder why they do that instead of just doing (insert your experience here). We then tell ourselves, I reckon they know what they are doing since they have been here the longest. From there on out, it became a shut up and listen, do what you are told atmoshere. This is the root cause of every project…A lack of a Continuous Improvement Culture…so herein lies the challenge for leadership. Are your people empowered enough to make change when necessary? Have you taught how to recognize when the need arises? Food for thought.

Comments 2

  1. michael cardus

    you do what you get paid for.
    If you are being paid to complete orders and ship – that is your focus.
    If you are paid to find problems – focus
    Paid to lick envelopes faster – focus
    Paid to continually improve operations – focus
    HOLD ON!
    Who is going to pay you to continually improve operations? We have to get orders out, ship dates, run metrics, develop complex spread sheets because we must show an impression of progress.

    Leadership/management & change within organizations is too often built upon a rational foundation. Rational foundations can be swayed because you get what you are looking for. Observational impact on the results.

    Yes people new to the team see many issues and if the culture is one of shut up and fit in that is what they do.
    Yet I have worked in and consulted orgs. that the ideas were listened too and instituted. One place required new employees to make 3 suggestions for improved processes.

    It comes back to you get what you are paid for.

  2. Stephen C. Crate

    If employees do not have a continuous improvement mindset, even if managment supports Value stream mapping or other tools, then transformational change does not occur. HOwever, if during a new employee orientation, and subsequent agency staff meeting a philosophy of continuous improvement is assessed and fostered, good things happen, customer satisfaction increases and employees are more satisfied with their own production. Management brutality does not work and will never work in the long run.

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