Together We Can - Values in Action!

#39 Together We Can, Values In Motion!

Whatever a person can be, he ought to be.” wrote Abrham Maslow.  What are you capable of being?  This is the one and only lifetime in which to be it – so, what are you waiting for?

Together We Can - Values in Action!

#38 Together We Can, Values In Action!

Often people try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.  The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.

Lean and Continuous Improvement

3 Crucial Steps For Creating Strong CI Culture!

Creating a strong CI team culture does not just happen on its own, unfortunately!  There are 3 crucial steps to create any culture and if any are weak, so will be the resulting culture.  One or all of these steps are often overlooked, leading to a weak or undesired culture.

I recently resumed “Open Office Hours” whereby I have time slots in my calendar reserved for impromptu drop-ins or phone calls from anyone within my organization.  During one of these conversations we discussed how to change a culture within an organization which prompted me to dig up a mental model I used years ago when creating the “Lexus Mindset” to launch the first Lexus plant outside of Japan.  Since then, I’ve used this same model to create Continuous Improvement cultures in other organizations.

Culture Mental Model

 

Values  – The first step is to determine and align the organization with the values that are most important, and desired or necessary to have in order to meet the mission of the team or organization.  These values need to be well defined and communicated to everyone within the team or organization.

Behaviours – Next is to identify the behaviours that each member of the team or organization should exhibit that demonstrates the values previously determined.  These behaviours maybe different at various levels and positions within the team or organization based on the role or responsibilities.

Consistency – Everyone on the team must consistently demonstrate the desired behaviours.  Organizations most successful with creating their desired and sustained cultures are those where the members actively correct and identify unwanted behaviours and show recognition and appreciation for the desired behaviours.

Only when the desired behaviours are consistently demonstrated, are the values re-enforced, which then creates the culture sought after.  When the demonstrated behaviours contradict or are inconsistent with the values of the organization, the resulting culture will not be what was intended.

When we used this mental model to create the Lexus Mindset, we invested a great deal of time and discussion to determine the values we felt were necessary to meet our mission.  Once these values were determined, we worked together as a team to establish the behaviours that all members of the team would need to have that would clearly demonstrate and reinforce our values.  We then developed methods that we could both correct undesirable behaviours or recognize the sought after behaviours.  We made it fun and engaging at all levels.  I remember my team pointing out to me a few times, with a big smile on their faces, “Does this behaviour support the Lexus Mindset?”.  It was actually powerful and was very effective in changing our behaviours towards the ultimate culture we wanted to have.  Not only did it correct poor behaviours, but it also resulted in open discussions that challenged our old way of reacting or dealing with situations which facilitated a faster shift in our thinking and ultimately our behaviours.  We won the prestigious JD Power Gold Plant Award that year for the highest initial vehicle quality within North and South America, which I don’t think would have happened had we not created the culture that we did!

Contact me:

You can email me with any questions at glennsommerville@hotmail.com, find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/glennsommervilleL2R/, or on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/gsommervilleL2R.

If you are enjoying my posts and find the information useful, please “Follow” me by entering your email in the follow box on the right-hand menu of my website www.glennsommerville.com

 

Together We Can - Values in Action!

#37 Together We Can, Values In Action!

Excellence…. If you demand perfection of yourself, you’ll seldom achieve it.  Fear of making a mistake is the biggest single cause of making one.  Today, take a deep breath and smile.  Seek excellence not perfection.  Put quality into the steps of your work instead of constantly worrying about the final product.

Lean and Continuous Improvement

4 Phases To Watch For With Continuous Improvement!

Typically when you first start improving a process or conduct a kaizen, there are four improvement cycles or phases that one goes through.  It’s helpful to know what they are so you can quickly address the issues that cause them, or even better, avoid them in the first place!

4 Phases of CI

Phase #1

The first step before any kaizen or continuous improvement (CI) is to ensure that standard work is being followed and that the process is within standards.  Often it is not, so the first thing that needs to be done is to either put them back in place, or if they didn’t exist, create and put them in.  The lack of standard work and standards is generally the cause of the high variation that is experienced in the process.  In this stage, if adherence to standard work has not been a priority, it is common to find that operators over time have created their own standard work with each one maybe doing it slightly or totally differently.  This is what often causes the high variation.  If you do not address this variation before CI, you will likely create higher levels of variation and your process will not provide a predictable result.  It can easily become complicated and frustrating trying to figure out why sometimes you achieve the desired results after the CI, but not always.  Once the standard work and standards are in place, you should see the variation in the results dramatically decrease and the process will become stable.  Even if the process is not delivering to the desired target, it is critical to make the process stable and therefore predictable.  Now you are ready to kaizen or CI the process.

Phase #2

Phase #2 comes after a kaizen when the process is now consistently achieving the desired target.  The process and the results are stable and predictable.  Everything is going well and the team starts to think about what’s next.  This is the happy phase when the team is feeling good about the results and their accomplishments.  Document the changes clearly, revise the standard work, make any new standards permanent (until the next kaizen), and provide the operators and the process time to operate and stabilize.  If you are aware of Phase #3, then phase #2 is a good time to implement mitigation so that you can avoid phase #3!

Phase #3

If you are experienced at CI, phase #3 can be prevented, but far too often there is a phase #3.  Phase #3 is a result of a weak or missing sustainment step or mechanism.  After the CI the operators and the leaders get comfortable.  They either stop or change the frequency of a key success attribute that was put in place during the original CI.  An example is training.  During the CI all the operators were trained on the new standard work and everyone does the process steps in the same order and same way.  However, if the training materials weren’t revised, or the trainers were not informed, the result can be below target conditions with higher rates of variation.  Or perhaps, the leaders didn’t add a key check or confirmation to their standard work and after a period of time missed a check here or there and perhaps eventually even stopped doing it.  Again, this can lead to high variation and below target results.  However, since all the CI changes and actions are fresh, typically you can recover from this situation very quickly and return to target and stability.  Lessons are learned and mechanisms put in place to maintain stable target results.  Until phase #4, that is!

Phase #4

After a period of stability, it is not uncommon for a sudden and unexpected short term unfavourable to target result.  This is the result of an abnormality in the process.  The abnormality may be one of the 4M’s – Man, Machine, Material, Method.  With the focus and controls put in place by this point in the CI, the abnormality is usually quickly identified and corrected almost immediately.  These abnormalities can also point you in the direction of your next kaizen or CI activity.

Cover Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Contact me:

You can email me with any questions at glennsommerville@hotmail.com, find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/glennsommervilleL2R/, or on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/gsommervilleL2R.

If you are enjoying my posts and find the information useful, please “Follow” me by entering your email in the follow box on the right-hand menu of my website www.glennsommerville.com