The Secret to Building a Successful Lean Six Sigma Culture
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The One Secret to Building a Successful Lean Six
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 whether a true lean six sigma culture can be engendered 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 ‘Lean Six Sigma 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
lean six sigma culture
Lean Six Sigma Culture, What exactly does that Mean?
So, what exactly do we mean by ‘Culture’?
Associated words and phrases….
- Way of life, customs, traditions
- Society, background, ethnicity
- Conduct, behaviour, habits, mannerDefinitions……
- ‘…relating to the cultivation of the mind or manners especially through artistic or intellectual activity…’
- ‘… the norms and values that people live by…’
- ‘...unwritten rules that define what is expected of people and how they should behave…’
- ‘…the 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 patience. What do we need to do to go about creating the desire, which will in turn allow us to begin to change the behaviour, values and beliefs of the leadership and ultimately change to a true lean six sigma culture? 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 influence?
- 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 – SALES, Or, 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.com Or, to really become an expert in this field, we run a 5 day consultancy masterclass, which covers the ‘People’ side of creating a Lean Six Sigma Culture in great depth.
Until next time,