Changing culture is one of the greatest challenges in any lean-CPI transformation.  It takes one level of commitment to improve processes when the consultant highlights the problems and guides you to a solution.  But it is another level entirely when the whole workforce, from “value-adders” to leaders practice a new way of thinking, continuously eliminating waste and seeking out, exposing and solving problems without blame.

Changing culture typically involves challenges to the existing order and expectations.  Confronting and overcoming these challenges demands:

  • Commitment – leadership’s commitment of time and resources;
  • Knowledge – core content required to perform the necessary tasks;
  • Understanding – mastery of content required to go beyond mere rote tasks;
  • Time – patience needed for knowledge to evolve to understanding;
  • Reinforcement – continuing follow-up, through metrics, coaching and mentorship

In pursuit of this change, TSD has identified key issues, common problems and preferred solutions.

Key Issues Affecting Culture Change

Key Issues Common Problems Preferred Solutions
Methods Wrong Culture Standard policies and procedures
Pace Faltering momentum Disciplined behaviors with policies, procedures and reviews (leadership engagement)
Sustainment    Progress once made isn’t continued Heightened workforce involvement & standardized practices
Alignment Focus on non-strategic issues Focus on policy deployment

If you recognize your transformation effort in any of the above, contact us to arrange a visit. We’ll conduct a cultural assessment with our own Calibrate™ tool, and provide you with valuable insight into where your organization is now, and what it will take to bring your culture to the next level.

Meanwhile, John Allen, internationally-recognized change management expert and TSD’s Chairman, is writing a 5-part series of articles on the “Role of Culture in Lean.”  Download Part 2 and we’ll forward the remaining installments to your email as they are released.