There is one main driving force that any business or individual must take on when considering Business Improvement strategy (using Lean Six Sigma) and that is a POSITIVE change in CULTURE in the way that we think, we act and we work by.
It is easy to change a particular component or item from a task or remove or add tasks in a process but it is sometimes very difficult to change the culture of how people act and think towards it. Any improvement transition requires a particular culture to keep it moving on.
In business today the problem lies in the perception or misconception of what a culture change actually entails
Culture change is not a program with a completion date, nor is it a quick fix.
It is an ongoing journey – a journey that requires leaders to understand the current state of the organization, establish a clear vision, align behaviours and instill accountability.
This journey can take up to 5 year so strong leadership is required as well as total commitment by the staff.
Managing change during a process improvement effort, such as a Lean Six Sigma intervention, is essential. Not only is it essential for the team working on the intervention, but for the organisation as a whole in understanding what the Lean Six Sigma team is doing and accomplishing.
It has to be remembered even at this early stage of change that our customers will also see the effect so the change must be in a positive wave to the business and the customer.
Creating a culture change will include:
- Understanding the basics of Lean Six Sigma
- Opening people’s minds to improvement and change
- Sharing examples, case studies and research
- Bench marking your organization to best-in-class competitors
- Providing proper Lean Six Sigma techniques for the job, so employees don’t feel helpless in their journey
- Modifying management policies, including metrics, governance, and rewards and recognition
- Establishing timely and routine reviews and accountability
- Improving communication within the organization
In Lean Six Sigma methods and techniques can be learned and practiced but Culture Change will be bespoke to the business and can only be delivered buy a strong leadership and willing committed staff.