The Correct Way to Implement Lean [Part-2]

As we have understood that what corporate culture is in my previous article, we will understand the need to change and how to change the corporate culture in this article.

Lean manufacturing

Changing your organizational culture is the toughest task you will ever take on. Your organizational culture was formed over years of interaction between the participants in the organization. Changing the accepted organizational culture can feel like rolling rocks uphill. 

Perhaps the current culture matches the style and comfort zone of the company founder. So we will see that is it really necessary for a change in the organizational culture.

Does your organization need to change corporate culture:

Do you want to make a significant improvement in quality?
Do you want to enhance the commitment of employees?
Do you want to accelerate the speed of your business growth?
Is the competition intensifying in your product market?
Are the customer’s expectations increasing from your company?
Do you want to attain and retain leadership in your market?

How to change corporate culture: 
  • Assess your organizational culture 
  • Create an inspiring vision of the company 
  • Change the mindset of the people 
  • Enhance competence of employees 
  • Establish effective management process 
  • Rationalize the organizational structure 
  • Provide effective leadership 
Assess Your Organizational Culture:

Assess your current organizational culture through culture interviews (interview your employees in small groups and hear what they say about the culture) & culture surveys (written surveys can be taken by the employees)
  • Sample questionnaire for interview/survey, you can custom design your own questionnaire, 
  • What would you tell a friend about the company 
  • What is the one thing you would most like to change about this organization? 
  • Who is a hero around here? Why? 
  • What is your favorite characteristic that is present in our company? 
  • What kinds of people fail in our organization? 

Create an inspiring vision of the company:

Ask yourself what do you aspire to become or achieve as an organization, or what is the most meaningful thing you want to achieve as an organization. After deciding your vision, ask yourself - 
  • Is your vision future-focused? 
  • Does it inspire? 
  • Does it align with your values? 
  • Or is it a set of goals and objective? 

To have an inspiring vision requires clear purpose. Why do you get up and work every day? What drives you? Why does your company exist? Making money is a basic need of business, yes it is just a need not a vision.

Below paragraph about vision statement is taken from So-young Kang’s article.

Do you want to build a great organization or are you satisfied with a good one?

Great companies are led by great leaders who inspire and help people imagine the unimaginable. They have inspiring visions and a very clear purpose that guides their decisions. When leaders dream the unimaginable, their visions are broad, universal and…global.

Change the mindset of the people:

Real cultural change only happens when mindset changes. Begin with how stressed your employees are, as it affects everything else. Recognize why they are excessively stressed. When you find the reason you can provide the solution.

In any industry excessive pressure is the main reason for the negative mindset. There can be many reasons for pressure, which need to be identified and eliminated to create positive mindset and culture.

Enhance competence of employees:

Why increase competency?

A skilled and well-trained workforce is critical to a company’s success. Improving competencies allow an organization to remain productive and competitive. Improving employee competencies is an opportunity every company should embrace.

For cultural change employee’s cultural competency is also be enhanced as their skill competency.

Things that can be done to increase cultural competency: 
  • Develop an understanding of the cultural change within the organization 
  • Increase the organizational and individual understanding of how the various dimensions of culture impact the organization and the staff that works with them. 

Establish effective management process:
Without an effective management system, even highly talented employees will be failed. Cultural change is a complex process, which varies factory to factory. There will be different approaches can be taken depending on the change objectives and the external environment to develop an effective management process. 

For your further reading on How to Build an Effective Management System.

Provide effective leadership:
Leadership drives the workplace but effective leadership drives the effective workplace. Self-assessment is required here to analyze how effective you are.
About the author: Zakir Husain is an industrial engineer and a lean practitioner. He worked as a project manager in lean implementation projects. He has successfully implemented the online finishing system in an apparel manufacturing company. Currently, he is working at Richa & Company and doing projects on improving sampling and pre-production activities to maximize PCD hit rate.

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