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But How To Deal with Evil

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  • #49515

    Nosybear
    Participant

    Good morning, all! Most of the postings I read here deal with the “happy path” where managers “get” Lean and Six-Sigma. The people I read about here deal with management who want and make decisions based on facts and data. So, in the environment I live in, neither are the case. In fact, my management, at times, makes the Pointy-Haired Boss look pretty close to competent (for foreign readers, sorry for the US cultural reference).My question to the Forum: How do you deal with trying to implement Lean, Six-Sigma, BPM or just process improvement in Dilbert’s company?

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    #169276

    Mikel
    Member

    Find a new job.

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    #169277

    Deanb
    Participant

    A common problem indeed.I have found this infliction is often caused by the confluence of two factors: the firm belief that they know and control more than they actually do; and the belief that they are winning and do not need to improve.If this resembles your situation then progress depends on tactfully increasing their knowledge in a manner that clearly prevents them from losing (eventually these types start losing). The operative word is “tactfully.” This preserves your nonthreatening standing.The other approach is to wait until they lose big and get replaced. This is actually riskier, as you and many others can get replaced in the same brush. Good luck.

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    #169278

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Be crafty and put your mad minitab skills to use and develop data analyses to accentuate your PHB’s dysfunctional tendencies.  
    A tactically-minded sprinkling of damning data across internal Leaders might just do the trick.   For instance:   You make the PHB aware of a situation that is costing the compnay big-dollah, and you propose a project to mitigate the problem.   The PHB refuses to act, or lead.  
    You could take your conclusions, backed by facts and accompanied by a note incriminating the PHB and send to the Exec Leadership team, and/or the shareholder oversight committee via the annonymous email acct you set up from an internet cafe in the next town over.
    -just kidding…
    Stan’s right, get a new job.

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    #169282

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    You could start an underground campaign, posting the pictures of the “evil doers” on the bulletin board, with the caption: “No projects, no peace.”  Tie in a movement to certify a union under the Continual Improvement Brotherhood of America.  Maybe come up with a snazzy slogan, like “Empowerment!  It’s not just for management anymore!”
    Seriously, all you can do is try to influence change, as you don’t control it.  In the end, you have to judge your tolerance for personal pain against the possibilities that you can successfully influence change and make some gains.  Trying to tie yourself to someone who is “enlightened” and willing to work with you and that has some influence with their peers and superiors is a good tactic.  Failing that, you can take the “ninja” approach, staying hidden from the organization, picking and choosing your targets of opportunities, striking, and then hiding again before anyone puts a target on your back.
    Unless your tolerance for personal pain and frustration is high, do as Stan and HeeBee have said – go find someplace that is more amenable to what you have to offer.
    Shooter

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    #169283

    Nosybear
    Participant

    Okay, Stan, your assessment and mine match.  Know anyone who’s hiring?

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    #169284

    Nosybear
    Participant

    Heebeegeebee (I think I got that right), thanks and I’ll pose the same question in reply I posed to Stan:  Know anyone who’s hiring?
    Today it finally occurred to me that you can’t convince someone of anything with data.  To try to convince is to try to push data, anyone who believes in and acts on data is pulling it.  So attempting to convince someone using facts and data is in fact in violation of Lean….
    Again, thanks.  My resume is current.

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    #169285

    Vallee
    Participant

    Aside from a new job with new problems, try strategic alignment and brokerage. You can be just as successful if not more if you find the person in your company that has your boss’s attention and trust and convince that person the right thing to do. Then that person becomes your voice with your data.HF Chris Vallee

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    #169286

    Deanb
    Participant

    You could always do what most do in your situation: regress and/or resign. If you regress you will just do what you must and focus on keeping your sanity by joining gossip cliques and adopting the attitude “thats his problem.” Underground cartoons can be fun as long as you do not get caught.If you choose to resign that can take many forms too, from just pulling your heart away from your work, or even quitting the company. Your first enemy is frustration, not the situation.This situation exists in some form in most companies. You might have to change jobs frequently if you are too much of a purist.My suggestion: Consider the larger organization before you bail. Ask: Does responsible management exist up the line, but not just in your department? Or are they all like minded in the same bad way? If the former, playing for time may make sense. If the latter, shopping for a better environment may make sense for you, provided you realize you will probably face similar frustrations in the new job too (but then it may be worth it).

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    #169287

    Taylor
    Participant

    In this world there are doers and followers. If you want to be a change agent; Go to your boss, close the door, and have a one on one conversation. Schedule it, Have your facts, no facts, no respect, and be confident. If he is close minded, he will either tell you what you want to here, or kick you out, either way, you will know. At this point you really don’t have that much to loose. And then you can post your resume on Monster and hire a recruiter.
     

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    #169288

    BTDT
    Participant

    Nosybear:There is no rosy road with respect to implementation. It is all about change management. There are two very distinct cases. Are you proposing to implement an improvement project or a improvment programme?You can only implement in the arena for which you have control. If your boss has commanded that you do so, then you have your programme champion (somewhat). This may mean the programme is limited to only operations or back office, for example, depending on your boss’s area. If you think this is a good idea for yourself, then you can do projects based on your own business processes. Your own boss will be the project champion.To put it back in the context of your periodic performance review, How would you answer to the statement,”Why should I let you do this? I want results, not philosophy.”Can you tell him/her why you should do this?Cheers, Alastair

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    #169289

    w. g. miller
    Member

    In a word – salesmanship.
    W. G. Miller
     

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    #169294

    Severino
    Participant

    Give in to the dark side.  Start wearing a black cape and a mask to work and referring to your boss as the emperor.  People feared Darth Vader and they will fear you!!!  You can have all the continuous improvement you want once the Deathstar is completed and the rebel alliance is destroyed…

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    #169296

    Dr. Ravi Pandey
    Participant

    My friend, if you have not already started and there is so much doubt.. I would suggest  not to use the words.  Just try few projects at a time.  You can always get good projects via discussion on immediate company needs.
    Manager do not care for Six Sigma or for that matter anything else.  So you need to show that they will get better result.
     
    Let me know if you have any question.  We have very good experience in deployment in a vey hostile environmnet….http://www.biproinc.com
    rgds
    ravi
    Dr. ravi Pandey
    [email protected]

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    #169298

    Alchemist
    Participant

    kindly look at my post and see if situation is same???

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    #169315

    Nik
    Participant

    So the basic question is how to implement Lean, Six Sigma, etc. when the cultural buy-in doesn’t exist?
    The core issue isn’t about management making decisions based on gut, poor metrics, or Dilbert cartoons. It’s about creating an environment open to change.
    Eliyahu Goldratt in Theory of Constraints points out that essentially, to make improvements means there has to be change, and change will be a threat to someone’s security. He observes “threat” is an emotion, which is difficult to overcome with logic, data, etc. It needs to be overcome with another more powerful emotion. So, gaining their buy-in becomes about making them emotionally engaged.
    Therefore the first thing you have to decide is if you need them emotionally engaged or not.
    Engaging them emotionally: There is no shortage of recommendations on how to do this. Numerous consulting firms and books will teach you methods associated with “change leadership.” Here are some techniques I’ve found effective:

    Stakeholder Analysis – There are different templates, but essentially they all have you list all the possible stakeholders (customers, suppliers, key players) and determine both their influence in the organization and the impact the project has on them. Then map out who on the last has influence over who. This does not mean simply positional authority, but who do they respect and listen to. Decide who you need to have on board, and who is already on board and look for opportunities to have those people who have already bought in talk with those who don’t.
    Examine how you communicate – Much to my disappointment, I’ve found that most people aren’t “jerks” once you understand how you need to communicate with them. Utilize any type of personality or communication profiles training you’ve been given.  Think about what profile that person is and how best to communicate with them. I’ve found the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) introductory training put out by CCP Introduction to Type and Communication to be very effective. Once you’ve identified what you think the person’s type is, the book provides you with “Do’s” and “Do not’s” for communicating. This has helped solve 95% of the difficulties I’ve had in communicating with people.
    WIFFM – What’s in it for me. Find out how they could benefit from the program. In what ways will it improve their life or how they are perceived?
    When you can’t engage them at all: Most models of deploying Six Sigma, Lean, etc. center around top-down deployment. But, that is not the only way. There is also bottom-up. One company I worked with, the management was very skeptical and slow to change. So we couldn’t do the Value Stream Management, or strategic planning that most of these books recommend. So we started where we could. Theodore Roosevelt put it this way “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Some of the people who get burned out in the program get burned out when they try to change something that right now can’t be changed. This gives you two options:

    Narrow the scope so it doesn’t impact their process. One project I worked on had a long history before it was given to me. They had tried several times to update an ancient data system and replace it with something more useful. However, they couldn’t get universal buy-in or the money to do it. After reviewing the process for what they were trying to do, we found that the best option was to create a tool for just them that took the existing inputs and provided the same outputs, but made their lives much easier. The change was transparent to the rest of the system, but it brought immediate relief to those who were suffering the most.
    Find an “in,” someone who is ready for change. Work with them, create genuine improvement and socialize it in a way the organization can accept. For this company, it just having the benefits speak for themselves. There was no banner waving, crazy promises, or t-shirts, just the fruit of their work. Over time other people will see it and slowly come around, they will! It happened at this company I was working with, for years the Belts begged, borrowed, and stole projects. A few progressive leaders let us in, and once the business measures they were already using showed an unexplained positive change, upper management began to ask what was going on. Then like in the story of Imo the monkey, the culture rapidly changed and now everyone wants our assistance.
     
    So, I don’t recommend giving up on the company or waiting for folks to retire (unless that is what you really need to do), but rather use the tools you’ve been given to understand your customer and help them if they are ready to change, or refocus to a smaller scope or different area if that customer is not quite ready yet.
     

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    #169319

    BTDT
    Participant

    Nik:Brilliant advice. I have used the resistance management piece of Goldratt for years now. When I manage change, I start with finding an example from a similar process or business, then to objective data analysis and only after those fail do I go to “It shall be done, because the CEO says so.”People are very resourceful at finding ways to not change even when directed from the corporate level. Green Belts projects are always served with a healthy dose of WIIFM, because they are usually the process owners.Cheers, Alastair

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    #169331

    Swaggerty
    Participant

    Excellent advice, Nik!!
    Gives me something to chew on…..

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