Leadership Re-directions: Change is bad?

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]We’re all familar with the old “Change is good” saying!  Have you ever experienced a natural change in leadership and had a director come in and completely revamp the way your team reports, plans, etc?  Sometimes this is a good thing and often necessary in a lean transformation.  But what if you have been on your way down the path and your director is promoted?  Is it really value added to scrap the methods and tools of your team if they represent the same methodology and get you to the same place in the end?

I’ve seen examples where teams were using A3 policy deployment very successfully and then a change in leadership forced then to start using the cross matrix policy deployment.  Did a couple of weeks fitting the current method into the new method really help the team doing the work?  I’m sure it helped the leader since he was more familar with cross matrix.  Would it have been more value added for the one leader to learn and change rather than the 50 reports below him? 

You probably have seen the same thing with problem solving methods.  Maybe you are an 8D gal/guy from your OE days, but your team is using a different home grown methodology that also accomplishes root cause determination and permanent corrective action implementation.  Do you really need to send your team to training and force a new method that accomplishes the same thing? 

I’ve seen this same behavior with multiple things in the factory from daily communication boards to standard work to reporting metrics by pound or unit or dollar!  A new leader comes in and wants to see it his or her way!

As a leader of and immature transformation, many times a fundamental change is required and your people will have to “see” and “do” things differently than before.  However, if you are acquiring new teams, you may want to first look at their current methods and take the time to truly understand them before you tear eveything out and completely redecorate!  You just might learn some better ways to do business!

Bryan

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2 Responses

  1. Change is not good or bad it’s just change. I think there is slight nuanced difference between change, transformation and growth. You want your organization to mature (transform /grow) but constantly shaking it up in order to “appear” cutting edge can be destructive. I have witnessed managers changes things then immediately claim victory and move on leaving rank and file to pick up the pieces. Every manager should be required to read “Out of Crisis” by Deming this would provide them with a good foundation.

    • Love the “Out of Crisis” requirement!!!!!

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