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Why is it so hard to change peoples opinons

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  • #33662

    Paul Robson
    Participant

    Hello
    I am currently implementing Lean Manufacturing in a large Sub Contract Machine Shop. I have the time line planned for implementation and currently just at the 5S stage. I am Six Sigma qualified but believe me this is way above my current employer at this point.
    I am really struggling to get people on board. I have Presentations to show top level managment (I am luck to sit in the same office as the MD) but they dont have the time to look at them. The MD is well into the idea but lacks all kowlage on this. I really feel like I am wasting my time.
    Has anyone else had this problem? How did you get the people on board?

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    #91352

    DaveG
    Participant

    Interesting scenario!
    With whom are you struggling?  Executives or Machinists?
    What are the obstacles or objections?
    How can the boss champion this if he / she doesn’t understand?
    Who do the machinists trust and listen to?
    I would approach it from 2 levels:  1) how do the executives generate the tribal culture, customs, habits and allegiances, and 2) how can you show the workers that you can make their jobs safer and easier and serve the customer as well?
    Is the problem that people don’t understand why change is good, or they understand but can’t or won’t change?
    More specifics upon your response.

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    #91354

    Reigle Stewart
    Participant

    Show the stakeholders some “hard” savings
    they can put into their pockets at the end of the
    month and you wont have any further problems
    “selling” your ideas. Maybe you have the
    question backwards … “What kind of success
    must they see in order to convice them?” Just
    make it happen and they will love you forever.Reigle Stewart

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    #91392

    murray
    Participant

    Money, money, money —
    A few quick wins showing how much money can be saved.
    At that level all MD’s want is how this effects our bottom line.

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    #91394

    Ropp
    Participant

    Welcome to the world of Six Sigma.
    I can offer my sympathy in this frustrating time.  My recent experience is very similar.  Whilst I can tell you what is working for me, it may not be entirely applicable for your particular combination of challenges.
    When faced with lack of knowledge in the organisation, direct routes to engage people are often met with backlash.  Looks like you might need to adopt a bit of ‘bottom-up’ activity to convince the top to steer the way.  Yep, money is the answer.
    Who to work with though?  I used the old 2×2 matrix and mapped out the people into intelligent, not so bright and compliant and resistive.  It doesn’t take much to wotk out that the best results for change will come from the compliant side of the equation.  The resistive side will just frustrate. They can be tackled later when you have a bigger army.
    Its working for me at the moment, but no doubt this strategy will change again….
     
    Dave 

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    #91396

    Andy Craine
    Participant

    Paul
    Have you tried a threats v oppoortunities matix? In other words, what are the threats of not changing in the short and long terms and what are the opportunitews over the short and long run. I’ve found this usefull in getting people to get dissatisfied with the current situation and then move more willingly to the future state.
    Hope this helps
     
     

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    #91401

    paul Allen
    Participant

    As a consultant (who can’t work his laptop!) in Lean and Six Sigma I get this kind of issue all the time. It sounds like you are in a relatively small organisation and your MD is struggling to envision the solution/benefits you want to deliver. There are 2 obvious things you could do.
    1. Find an company locally who has made these changes and arrange to take him there to see and hear the difference/benefits.
    2. Find out what your MD really is trying to acheive and offer him a solution to that problem.
    The idea of ‘just do it’ in the hope that it will convince the MD might work. But if it doesn’t 5s will just deteriorate without his backing, and then trying to recover the situation will be even harder.
    Best of luck  – Paul

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    #91402

    Steve G
    Member

    Paul,
    You are not alone! 
    Generally I find that it is hard to change people’s opinions because we do not feel the same need for change or, if we do feel the same need, they have a different vision as to what the end state is or how to get there.  Until you can develop this shared need and common vision you won’t get their commitment to change. 
    Some will recognise in this the first steps of GE’s Change Acceleration Plan; I’ve summarised these phases below.  Before deciding the tools/approach to use, ask yourself which phase you are in and how you will know (measure) that you are through to the next phase.  After answering these two questions you can better identify how to get through the phase. 
    In trying to effect change we come in with our own commitment mobilised and too often assume that other people see the world as we do.  I find that breaking the people process down into these phases is as effective (and important) as breaking the business problem down to into the DMAIC phases. 
    Change Acceleration Plan

    Create A Shared Need
    Shape A Common Vision
    Mobilise Commitment
    Change Systems and Structures
    Make Change Last
    The best approach depends on your business but three potential actions are:
    With your MD’s sponsorship, find an area that is know to be broken and is causing pain and focus all your effort there (what do your customers say?).  Create a sense of dissatisfaction with the current state and pull in whatever resource you can and demonstrate what Lean/Six Sigma can do (quickly).  Managed effectively, this can create greater demand for change.  In my experience, diffusing your effort across the organisation’s processes is likely to produce little more than tactical wins. 
    Get process improvement goals added into the managers’ goals or, if you can’t get this, find out their goals and identify how you can help them achieve these.  It’s coming up to year-end and anyone who has missed their targets is likely to welcome some help getting their bonus… 
    Longer term, get a visible process management system which links your financial performance metrics to your process performance metrics.  This makes performance visible and demonstrates how process improvements impact the bottom line/corporate strategy. 
    Any help? 
    Cheers,
    Steve

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    #91408

    azni
    Member

    Paul,
    I happen to be an Operations Manager for a small order driven company (job shop) that is also struggling with the same question and its twin brother; where do I find the time to introduce change?  I posed it to a Six Sigma consultant recently and I wasn’t satisfied with the answer: just do it.
    What I am finding,  that what works in a JIT environment is that you first need to carve out time from the typical daily chaos by stabilizing the schedule. In our case, we found out that most of the chaos is/was caused by overbooking the immediate schedule, wishing that everything would go well. It usually doesn’t. I worked with my Scheduler to enforce a 25% off limits time (we call it ECR for Emergency, Crisis Response) that has allowed us to finish what we intended to do for the week and ablity to either pull in work from the next week or respond to a sales crisis or any other crisis. I also had to work with sales to make them understand the imapct of overbooking the schedule. We provide information to sales as to what weeks are available for orders and available schedule hours. It took a little time (about 2 months) to get this done.Now we have created some breathing room  to implement changes. We are focusing on On Time Delivery as a vehicle for improving our processes. Everybody is on board on this one.  
    Also, I recommend a book, “Speed to Market” by Delta Dynamics (say hi to Vincent for me). Very simple and straight to the point. It is geared toward Job Shops. I am using it as a ready template to do all the things we ant to do.
    Good luck. Let me know of your progress.
    Zen Kruczkowski

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    #91439

    Paul Robson
    Participant

    Guys
    Thanks for all your help and advise.
    I managed to show the MD a Lean Power Point show that was used by Black and Decker and Ingersoll Dresser Pumps. He was very impressed and has asked for a time line plan to show how we are going to implement Lean.
    Things are looking up.
    Once again thank you all.
     
    Paul

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    #91440

    Kitty Frank
    Participant

    Could you tell me where to read more about the 2×2 matrix?  I am in healthcare, just breaking six sigma tools into the culture here.
    Another related question I have is:  How do I keep my “stuff” (paretos, trending preliminary work, etc) from getting taken out of context and resulting in punitive type reaction?  
    An example is trending work that might show a focus area for improvement.  Instead of my work gaining attention to the need for an improvement effort, someone from high level management pulls it out of the context it was presented in, takes it to their meeting, presents it without any understanding, and declares a certain person, work group, etc. needs more authoritarian leadership tactics focused on it.  It makes me want to quit working to find these areas, its backlashing on those I am trying to provide support to.  I have taken to trying to keep my work under wraps, but that is not effective either.  Ideas?  I’m not invited to these meetings, and have no idea any of my stuff is being shared there until the damage is done.
     

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    #91441

    John Hargreaves
    Participant

    Paul
    My view is that you cannot make people do something they do not want to do, maybe in the short term (with a big stick) but not ongoing.  Sounds like your MD isn’t even prepared to use a big stick either, which is not a bad thing if you want long-term performance.
     
    When you say, “I am currently implementing Lean Manufacturing…” it seems that you need to replace “implementing” with “trying to mplement.”
     
    Your first issue would seem to be, “How do I convince people that I can add value?” – this is true with whatever toolset you are using.  How do they view you?  As a person with a hammer (your Lean Manufacturing approach) who is looking for a nail (the problems they are dealing with in their work)?
     
    I sometimes am surprised by the “Just Do It” suggestions people make, even though they have a point that cost saving and other positive results are good advertisements.  But it seems you blocked prior to even having a chance to get to the point of having something to work on?
     
    Like DaveG, and unlike others on this site – albeit that some good suggestions have been made – I propose that you focus on answering some fundamental questions first.  And the reason for this is that every situation is different, even by way of the personalities you are dealing with.  Hence, all the advice and answers of others – what has worked for someone else, somewhere else – can be tried and tested but certainly do not guarantee the desired result.  In fact, nothing does.
     
    IMHO, I propose that what you first need to think about is involving a small group of people, between 1 and 3 to start, in a dialogue.  Who should these people be?  And they must have an incentive to talk with you, whether together or separately.  What is it?  It might be different for each person.  If time is a problem, what are the alternatives? – would lunch or coffee work for them, your treat.  Remember, they are your direct prospects, i.e. potential customers for your work so you need to listen to and respect their views.  Listen first, talk later.  Maybe they see you as a threat?  “Lean” goes with “mean” for many people.  You need to try and gain their trust first, at least enough to get you something (a project) to work on.  Then you can prove your value, with their help.
     
    I could add more, but my motive here is just to start you thinking differently, which I hope I have done.
     
    Good luck,
    John
     

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    #91455

    DaveG
    Participant

    John,
    Thanks for the attaboy.  Your advice is excellent, but I would add a note of caution.  In most organizations, people know exactly what stinks but are forced to pinch their noses.  I have too often approached line-level people to discuss improvement, then found that the “disease” is actually upper management – the one thing I cannot cure.  These people then say “Yeah, so-and-so used to have your job, and he couldn’t change anything either.”
    Paul,
    Be aware of what your responsibility and authority are.
     

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    #91456

    DaveG
    Participant
    #91458

    John Hargreaves
    Participant

    Yes Dave, there’s no ‘silver bullet’ start-up approach being suggested by me here, that’s for sure.  And the politics and history of the situation certainly both need to understood as soon as possible.  They both represent important ingredients to the ‘system’ that exists – putting my systems thinking hat on.

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    #91492

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Paul,
    There is a whole universe of reasons why people don’t want to change. The one I see most commonly is people percieve change as risk.
    Getting management buy in is a different thing usually. This isn’t going be the kindest response but there is a high probability it will fix your problem. They will either buyin a little more or they will fire you. Do the presentations you have to but nothing more – they obviously aren’t having an effect. Go change something. When you were hired they hired you to do a job so do it. If they are micro managing everthing you do you might be in the wrong job.
    If it works tell them about it and try to sell it again.
    If it doesn’t work – as the old joke goes – write 3 letters.
    Good luck.

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    #91502

    Ropp
    Participant

    Kitty,
    the 2×2 is a corruption of the Boston matrix (do an internet search and there are loads of hits) which is used to map out marketing strategies.  The axes are Market growth and Market share and split into high and low.
    You can adapt it using any two variables (in my case I used intelligence and compliance) that are of interest.  Its kind of a simplistic tool, but in its defence, it very easy to use (we like things like that!)
     
    Dave

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    #91510

    NKKhoo
    Participant

    Resistance to change is not a new problem to me. People will resist to change if the change may make them redundant and risk of losing their jobs.
    Let say your productivity project initiate can improve 30% more output with same headcounts and machines. What are you going to do with new “excess capacity” if your sale volume does not increase in tandem with the productivity.

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    #91525

    DaveG
    Participant

    Do you mean we should be inefficient because we can’t consume additional resources?  How about putting our competitors out of business?

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    #91541

    NKKhoo
    Participant

    Do you mean we should be inefficient because we can’t consume additional resources?  How about putting our competitors out of business?
    No, I didin’t imply that.  The question is do you have concrete plan to utilize newly created excess capacity and/or your product is salable?
    It’s not a fun thing for workers if they get laid off because they have improved efficiency in their workplace.

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    #91546

    DaveG
    Participant

    I agree with you, and I jumped the gun on my last post.  It’s unfortunate that a lack of vision causes both (1) the gross inefficiency that allows quantum leaps to be made and (2) the price that workers pay for the quantum leaps if there is no capacity consumption plan.  Call me unrealistic, I think all stakeholders are created equal. 

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    #91586

    ver aquino
    Member

    with regrds to your problem, my suggestion is gather data using QC 7 tools. set your obj. whether its defective prvention,cost reduction , etc..then recall your knowledge in Quality Circle if it’s applicable,always remember that the 6 sigma approach starts at the lowest hierarchy of the organization…good luck

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    #91601

    Zen Kruczkowski
    Member

    Paul,
    Hope your project is progresing well. I really think that the approach to problems plagueing small order-driven companies is outlined well in the book “Speed to Market” which I recommended in my previous posting. I forgot to leave the link: http://www.deltadynamicsinc.com .
    Zen
       
     

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    #91618

    baranidharan
    Participant

    hi
    i had once faced with similar situation, the problem here is not understanding your views and idea. they might have not had enough time to focus/analyse the results of your effort, but once you put in more effort and practically prove the result, they will start realizing it. naturally this takes some time – be patient.
    yours
    baranidharan.U.
     
     

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    #91625

    muhannad al nabulsi
    Participant

    I think top management has always only one priority:Money,Money  & Money.This is the only motiv,,they are doing to hide this motiv through manipulation and politic.So you should be clever enough to play politic as well,trying your best to achieve your targets,giving them the feeling that you are following their guidelines although you are are implementing advanced SS or  TQM.   THANK YOU  

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    #91851

    rajakkumar
    Participant

    I have had this problem once in my career but was not mature enough to do any thing about it at that time.Looking back ,I realise that if the top person in the orgonization does not show the inclination to get to know something new from his employee,it is best left to a consultant to make a presentation.I am quite sure a presentation by a consultant will do the job.So try getting a consultant to speak to yhe top man.

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