Change because we live in a bol.com or amazon.com world: ordered today, delivered tomorrow and refunded, if necessary, the day after. From mindset and technology point of view, didn’t we all, as consumers, just raised the stakes for companies to live up to those expectations?
Companies start looking for answers: lean, operational excellence, agile way of working, cost-cutting decisions, … you name it, companies have done it. The thing is, it’s all good as long as you don’t forget about who’s doing the job in the end. So, you need to get the people involved. Getting the people involved …
This means managing change, paying a lot for programs that feel fluffy. CXO knows it’s necessary and think: “If we share our vision, people will understand, no? And we’re investing in a change and transformation program, so this will work. We’ve done what needed to be done!”
“You’d better think again”. Ask yourself, how many fans do you have as manager? How many people will follow you? How many likes do you get? Did you check the temperature? Investing in change, without a culture ready for change, is plain stupid. The successful war stories are about CXO’s and managers walking the talk while also talking the walk, questioning themselves and their own role inside the company in order to guide everybody to the desired state. It’s about being authentic day in day out. That way you will build a culture ready for change. People will know they’re not left behind, that they matter. They will be open to the suggestion of change when it’s for the better, for them and the company.
Look what Toyota did! This guy, Taiichi Ohno, an engineer at Toyota convinced his managers to implement the JIT-approach to manufacturing. It changed Toyota, not overnight, but thoroughly. It changed the world of manufacturing. I’m not stating we should all look for that one brilliant idea to change the world, but in a healthy company culture, I’m pretty sure you have a lot of Taiichi’s willing to share their ideas, especially when change will be constant. Change happens from below, with involvement of the people.
“Power to the people, empower the Taiichi’s”.