Lean and Continuous Improvement

Why 95% Of CI Initiatives Don’t Stick Long-term!

Wow!  Is it remotely possible that only 5% of companies are successful at creating a continuous improvement organization?  But, why?

According to a post by High Performance Solutions Inc., less than 5% of continuous improvement initiatives achieve long-term results and sustained improvement.  Through industry member problem solving they determined it was human factors and lack of management systems that lead to failures.  Actually, is this so surprising?  The question we need to ask ourselves though is, why?   After all, leaders want to improve the performance and efficiency of their organizations. 

From what I’ve seen and experienced, the main reasons seem to be one of, or in combination of the following:

  • Weak or missing vision
  • CI not integrated into the mission of the organization
  • Not enough focus or experience to deliberately create a CI culture
  • Impatience to invest long term, which is necessary to change and/or create culture
  • Disconnect between words/desires and leader actions
  • Management systems do not align or are disconnected from the desired CI culture
  • Leaders don’t walk the talk
  • Lack of or inconsistent leader standardized work at all levels
  • Misaligned outcomes or benefits between the organization and the employees
  • Poor or non-existent  “go & see” or gemba reviews by senior leaders to confirm the actual condition and gain engagement

Unfortunately, the list goes on….

Let’s learn collaboratively!  What has been your experience as to why organizations fail at creating long-term results and sustained improvement?  Leave a comment!  Let’s do this!

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

 

 

 

 

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!

#35 Together We Can, Values In Action

Whether you’re searching for a good friend, a key employee or a lifetime partner, the secret to finding the right person is like looking for your own glasses, only to find them perched on your head.  Most of us search and search for the right person, when all the while the key is being the right person.  Value attracts value.

Gemba

The Different Types Of Gemba

Are there different types of Gemba?  Yes!  The fundamental reasons of Gemba remain the same, but there are at least 5 different types of Gembas each serving a different purpose.  Do you know what they are?

A leader needs to stay connected and engaged with what is going on, or not, as the case maybe, in their areas of responsibility.  In a previous post Toyota’s Worst Best Kept Secret & The Top Five Reasons For It, the top 5 reasons for Gemba were discussed, and even though these reasons more or less stay the same there are at least 5 different types of Gembas.   Gemba is NOT just for manufacturing processes!  Gemba is also a very powerful leadership tool regardless of the type of work, industry, or level of leadership you are in.  Office, logistics, laboratory, health care, customer service, construction, etc, gemba works the same and is just as beneficial as in a manufacturing or factory environment.

Gemba or “Go & See”

Personal Gemba –  A personal gemba is where the leader goes to one or more of their areas of responsibility by themselves.  They may go with a specific topic, concern, waste stream, check, audit, confirmation in mind, or just go and see.  Of course they should engage with their team along the way, but the point is these are unplanned and impromptu conversations and engagements with them.  These gembas are a great way for a leader to observe things without preparations by the team and in areas they otherwise may not be taken.  When visiting a building, I typically conduct a personal gemba first thing by walking the parking lots, lunch rooms, rest rooms, and other nooks and crannies before reviewing the main operations as it gives a leader an overview state of the business, how things are being managed, and the culture within the facility.  Another purpose of a personal gemba is to go and see by yourself before setting a new target or challenge to your team.  By observing for yourself, you will be better able to determine where the team needs to focus, what are challenging but achievable targets, observe abnormalities, or periodic work, or to confirm for yourself, without bias, what the current condition really is.

Leadership Gemba – A leadership gemba is when several members of a senior leadership team conduct a go & see together.  This is powerful because they observe together seeing and hearing the same things.  This is an opportunity for senior leaders to engage with operators through to middle management to provide coaching, mentoring, redirection, provide resources and assistance, and to recognize the teams.  A leadership gemba can be a confirmation walk of the actual conditions, observe problematic processes, see the results of a recent kaizen or continuous improvement project, provide recognition, or to engage with the teams on a specific topic.  Leadership gembas are usually scheduled and the general agenda agreed upon by the levels of leadership.

Daily Gemba – A leader’s core responsibility is to remove barriers and help our teams achieve the organizational goals.  The best way to do that is to demonstrate our actions being louder than words and daily gemba is an excellent tool for this purpose.  Daily gemba is done at the same time each day with all department leaders following a predetermined standard path.  The path may very day by day, but the point is to visit the key areas on a regular frequency.  During the gemba, the teams would provide an update on key metrics and performance from the previous day, recent trends, and identify any current challenges, concern, or barriers which is impeding their performance or attainment of a target.  The leaders can then assist with removing these barriers.  Daily gemba also ensures that everyone knows, understands, and is aligned to the top priorities for that day.  Daily gemba should be short and very focused, targeting 30 minutes and no more than 45.  The challenge is usually to avoid problem solving during gemba.  Daily gemba should also be a key part of Leader Standardized Work.

Impromptu Gemba – An impromptu gemba is used when discussing a specific situation or topic in an area physically removed from the point of discussion, and a spontaneous decision is made to go and see at the actual location or process under discussion.  This is done to assist in and align understanding, to problem solve and determine root cause, discuss counter measures, ask questions of the operators or those involved, or discuss next steps.  Often in meetings it takes a great deal of time for everyone to understand an issue and even after explaining, some may not actually get it.  They think they do, but they really don’t.  By going and seeing, problems can more rapidly be understood, necessary resources and actions agreed upon, and the issue resolved.

Scheduled Gemba -Some disagree with this type of gemba, but I do believe it serves a couple of important purposes.  This type of gemba, is simply scheduled in a calendar like any other meeting.  It can be a reoccurring scheduled event, or a one time occurrence on specific topic scheduled gemba.  In some environments or with some leaders, going and seeing seems to becomes the lowest priority and as a result, doesn’t happen.  Unless that is, they schedule it like any other meeting.  This reduces the likelihood that other meetings will be scheduled over top, or getting caught up in other things and not making it out to gemba.  The one time occurrence gemba is used when there is a need to have several leaders attend.  In these situations, it is important that everyone sees and hears the same thing so scheduling the gemba is usually necessary in most environments to ensure attendance.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Gemba must be priceless!

There are several types or slightly different gembas, beyond the above, but the most essential point is that leaders need to invest quality time at the gemba, or going and seeing.  If a picture is worth a thousands words, Gemba must be priceless, because it allows everyone to see the same thing first hand; the good, the bad, and the ugly!

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!

#32 Together We Can, Values In Action!

At age 40, I visited seven people who had guided me along positive paths when I was a child.  I wanted to thank each one for shaping my life.  To my surprise, only three remembered me.  Like stones dropped in a pool of water, the words of advice you give today may ripple outward into many lives and many tomorrows.

Don Dougherty

Don’s words are so accurate!  Don, you need to know that you didn’t just receive ripples created by seven people, but you dropped many stones in that pool yourself that have propagated ripples to many, many more.  I was fortunate to be one of them.  I met Don over twenty years ago when he coached and mentored me and my team on one of the pinnacle milestones of my career.  We have stayed in contact since then and Don has continued to be a mentor, advisor, and friend to me.  Thanks Don!  No doubt you have given more than you received!