Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Fat Wallet

Courtesy of cetmacargo.com
A very close friend carried a wallet that contained his life's history. Not only did it hold his driver's license, Social Security, bank and credit cards, pictures of his family, birth certificate, past payroll stubs, receipts, business cards, phone numbers written on errant pieces of paper, a rubber band, and a razor blade. Least to say, his wallet was a fat ball that could not fit in the back of his pants pocket and carried it in his hands, like a small weapon, an extension of his mind, body and spirit.

I would never expect him to part with it.  There's way too much history in it.

So, companies attempting to introduce change to people with set ways, it's difficult to find methods to convince those like my old friend to abandon his old wallet for a new, different albeit lean and efficient system.

To us old folks, there's a culture and history of respect. It cannot be ignored nor denied and those who think they can will find themselves fighting a long and losing battle.

What can be done?

First pick your battles. Resources are already limited. It serves no purpose to effect change on something or a task that's listed on the bottom of a tall totem pole to do list.

Not to be ignored copious notes should be stored and referred to when the time comes.

With that said, a strategy should target the best bang for the buck. Wins will certainly get the ball over the hill and create a momentum that picks up more support as gravity since it down the hill. This impetus will allow hardliners to acquiesce since as strong as they set on their principles. They are long-standing and loyal employees. In the past, they weren't going to impede progress if the consensus supports the overall cost.

Hidden factories not only drains efforts to meet customer demands it affect bottom line and company profits.

Kaizen translated means good change. UCLA professor of psychology, dr. Richard Mayer, Ph.D, indicated the most effective and lasting changes are those that come from taking small and incremental steps. This is the basis of continuous Improvement that some are too impatient to wait for him, as a result, implement unreasonable demands on the company's long-standing culture and infrastructure.

The solution?

Have two systems.

Allow the old to continue and then implement, for example, Lean Six Sigma changes. Have both work together and concurrently with the new helping the old to assimilate. It was around 1979 when I was first introduced to an 80088 computer get replaced adding machines, letters and journals, yellow notebooks, slide rules, pants, pencils, erasers, protractors, drafting tables, compasses, and that all too important pocket protector. I think I still have that pocket protector somewhere in my desk.

In college, I read the Medium is the Message by Marshall Mcluhan. I never envisioned, in such a short time, a world filled with so much technology and China being one of the strongest economic powers in the world; however, both were predicted.

Continuous Improvement is a way of life that morphs changes by its nature. Change was predictable based upon people not happy with status quo and young fresh minds said that impossible was impossible.

Progress has a mind of its own and there’s no purpose to get in its way.  Others may want to embrace it if they get to keep their old methods with them. To affect changes for those fat wallet owners, the first step is to have strong policies that employees are thoroughly educated; meaning, support it in writing. These documents provide the methodologies and processes that help all employees work predictably and consistently. Next is to conduct in-service training and offer mentoring to those technically challenged to ease in efficiency and productivity.

The old and new can both work and learn from each other.  Don’t make the mistake of implementing this resource incorrectly.

That way those who want can keep their life's history in their wallets as well as feel comfortable in accepting and participating in changes that will make work exciting, worthwhile and fulfilling.

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