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If you got to do it all over again……

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General If you got to do it all over again……

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  • #39037

    Savage
    Participant

    ….what would be the first book about change management that you’d read?  I have six sigma and lean knowledge.  I also have some leadership skills.  I’m about to face a challenge at a new employer that will put me in the role of “change agent”.  I’m excited about it but i know i could use some more education/experience when it comes to overcoming obstacles and resistance.  The primary roadblocks that i’m going to run into are the “we can’t do that because….” type.  The people i’ll be working with have been “doing it this way for 25 years” or more in some cases.  Upper management is on board but i prefer not to have to call them in like thugs to force change.  I’d much rather work with everybody and get buy in at all levels. 
    I would be thankful for any suggestions.

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    #117816

    Plastic
    Participant

    Hi there,
    Books could help, may help, but they will not do the trick.  Your motivation, enthusiasm, dedication to the change, and of course results will convince them to change. 
    As Colin Powell said, “Positive thinking is a force multipier”. 
    You have to be 100% convinced of the change, have to live the change, and have to challenge those who do not want to change.
    i.e. “Change people or CHANGE the people”. 
    Being a change agent is not something you can just learn.  Just as with leadership, it has to come within.  As with many people, they have a talent, maybe music, painting, or fixing something.  Then there are those who have leadership and change talent.  Just as you could send me to a music school, I would never be able to play the piano like Mozart.  The same goes for all these change agent books.  You can read them, and you will probably get better, but th core of it is that you need a talent for it. 
    There are two sorts of people, those who have talent such as mentioned before (music, art, fixing things), and then there are those people who create an environment for those people to exercise their talent.
    I wish you all the luck in your new position.  Be motivated, be convinced, be a force multiplier.
    Plastic

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    #117828

    Sigma Wolf
    Member

    I’d have to agree with Plastic.  I’ve read several different books on leading change, taken classes on Successfully Supervising Change and been mentored by a few very successful Change Agents.  Then I took a position as a CI Manager at a Bourbon distillery, where the attitiude is more “We’ve been doing it this way for 100 years”.  The books and classes were OK, but the real world is it’s the attitude that will carry you through.  Theres a quote that says the emotion of the group is controlled by the strongest emotion in the room.  The same holds true for attitude.  Be 100% sure of your self.  You’ll start with buy in from two or three people.  Then when the first project is a success your cirlce of supporters will expand.  Just be absolutely sure your first shot is a successful one.

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    #117845

    Been There, Done That
    Participant

    Matt:Sales guys are great at dealing with resistance. They call it the five levels of buy-in and develop mitigation plans against each level. This is also called the five levels of resistance in the change management arena.Goldratt’s books are very good in this regard (Theory of Constraints). You don’t have to adhere to the TOC tools used to mitigate the resistance, but we find the stages make a lot of sense. When all else fails, we concentrate on the “what’s in it for me” at the process owner level. The process owners end up having to live with the process and are your strongest allies in getting the process to take hold. We do the resistance planning during the Define phase in conjunction with the stakeholder analysis and assignment of roles and responsibilities for the communication plan. I’m glad you are not going to resort to calling in the big guns whenever you run into problems. Dealing with the resistance at the process owner level without having to use the Champion is the best long term solution.The five (or six) stages from Goldratt are:1) You don’t understand my problem2) We don’t agree on the direction of the solution3) We don’t agree that your solution will have the impact you predict4) Your solution is going to interfere with some existing initiatives5) There are some large and real problems with the proposed solution6) Unverbalized fear (we have to do more analysis, wait and see if the problem improves by itself, the problem is temporary, this will all change once the new ERP system gets implemented, etc.) – usually indicates you have failed to deal with any resistance from the first five stages.The advice is that if you are having too much resistance at any stage, you should back up and deal with the resistance.Hope this helps,BTDT

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    #117850

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Matt,
    Check out Tom Devanes book “Integrating Lean Six Sigma and High-Performance Organizations.” It is the only application specific book I am aware of. As far as the authors credentials on change – he was involved in the transformation that occurred in South Africa about 10 years ago which makes the Six Sigma change stuff look like childs play.
    Beyond that you need to get involved – stay eye to eye with people and talk to them and listen to what they are saying to you.
    We also team up frequently with a group called Landmark. These people can drive change and they do it through language and conversations.
    Personally Scot and I keep a current Stakeholder Analysis from the CEO level to at least 2-3 levels down in the organization. You have to know where you need to spend your time. If you have anyone at that level openly opposed to the initiative you will have a problem. You have to manage their expectations. Ultimately you have to deliver and once you do you have to continue to deliver on a regular basis.
    The worst time in any deployment is the first 6 months. It takes 5-6 months to train the first group of Black Belts – not because SS projects take that long. If you are not running Lean events then it goes dead for 6 months and after about 2 months the nay-sayers start to have a field day. You have to know who those people are and either manage them or step on them because you are extremely vulnerabe in that time period.
    Just my opinion

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    #117880

    Savage
    Participant

    this is all great feedback.  thanks very much.
     

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    #117883

    webegeek
    Member

    tell them that new goals are going to have to be met or eventually, what they do will be moved overseas and the only chance we got is now.  That will get their attention.  Then ask them what we can do to eliminate waste and speed time to market.  Take a few quick solutions first, make sure the people who come up with those ideas and did the work get all the credit.  Hold a contest for cleanest most organized work area, get everyone to throw 10 bucks in the kitty, get management to all kick in, let managers be the judges, other departments will want in  on the action then, you can 5S the whole place  for about 100 bucks out of pocket, you will get more ideas for change than you can ever hope to implement and everybody is on board.

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