Culture And You’ll Change The Organisation !
Many of my clients and
colleagues are forever asking the question “How do we assure sustainability for
a Lean Six Sigma Project”. This is by far the most difficult part to achieve
and it is all about the people.
Based on my personal scars and
experience, any improvement activity is 20% about the tools and 80% about the
people and it is people that determine the sustainability so, what determines
whether change ‘Sticks’ or not ?
The beliefs, behaviour and actions
of individuals all form part of the make up of the ‘Culture’ of an organisation
and it is this ‘Culture’ that determines the sustainability of your LSS
project, programme or Transformation.
In order for anything to remain
in place, it has to be accepted as ‘The norm’ or the ‘Modus Operandi’, or put
quite simply, ‘It’s the way we do things around here’.
The change must become part of
the culture of the organisation. If it doesn’t, it will always be ‘The stuff we
have to do as well as our day job’ and will be dropped at the earliest
So, what exactly do we mean by
Associated words and phrases….
of life, customs, traditions
behaviour, habits, manner
to the cultivation of the mind or manners especially through artistic or
the norms and values that people live by…’
rules that define what is expected of people and how they
way we do things around here…’
And that leads us to our next
question, what do we need to change the culture?
Firstly, we must begin to change
the behaviour, values and beliefs of the leadership. To do this
successfully requires skill in building rapport, influencing and sales, as the
first step in any change of ANY kind is, DESIRE !
Then we need to find Change
agents within an organisation who exhibit a ‘pioneering spirit’. We
need to define a ‘picture’ and ‘feel’ of the desired future and plan a strategy
and roadmap to make it happen.
Involve as many people as possible who will define it,
create a plan and take the actions necessary for it to be realised.
And finally, Effort, skill and
How do we go about creating the
desire, which will in turn allow us to begin to change the behaviour, values
and beliefs of the leadership? Firstly, answer the following questions:
- Who has a need that I/we can & must satisfy? – either
a business or a specific person
- Who do you know who is respected by the people you need to
- Who do you know that you suspect might be respected by
the people you need to influence?
- If you don’t know anyone then what research will you need
to do to find out?
- What chains or links between people can you create?
- What value could you create for the person/people in the
chain? Ok, so we’ve covered what
we need to do to make Change stick but to be honest, that’s the easy bit.Now we get into HOW we go
about changing the beliefs, behaviours and actions of the key people connected
to the change programme. This can only be achieved by influencing, negotiating,
demonstrating the benefits and getting the stakeholders to WANT to do
things differently – Creating the DESIRE !Some say these are the ‘Soft
skills’ or the ‘Fluffy stuff’ or ‘People skills’ and that some people have
these as a natural ability but they can’t really be taught to people who don’t
‘Have it’.That’s absolute garbage! This is
an exact science, as exact a science as physics. It’s common name is
SALESOr, how we use these exact
techniques to build solid relationships with high degrees of rapport and trust
in order to get our stakeholders to actively want to exhibit the desired
behaviours and actions that will in turn, shape the culture into one which
embraces the changes introduced, as the new ‘Norm’.This is too big a section to be
covered extensively in this blog post but is covered in our black belt syllabus
at www.beyondlean6sigma.comOr, to really become an expert
in this field, we run a 5 day consultancy masterclass, which covers the
‘People’ side of LSS in great depth.
Until next time,