Last year while at a plant in California a comment was made to a worker that sounded something like this "We are really starting to gain buy in, people love this Lean thing." Of course for any Lean Practitioner who hears this sort of conversation they will probably stop and listen for a bit. The conversation went on with another question; "That's great, can I ask you something?" "Of Course!" The other gentlemen replied, "Do you see people going and doing or do you hear people Saying?"
What the Sensei was referring to with his somewhat pessimistic questioning was a great point that often times can be seen in Organizations. He was asking are people recognizing and removing waste, is there a feeling of calmness and yet production presses on at the same rate or faster or are they justing saying Lean is great?
Often times this is a common struggle in the beginning of a Lean Journey, what you are dealing with is a behavior change or a shift in Culture. As you may already know shifting behaviors is not always the easiest thing to do. Here are Three basic principles why people do things that may help you begin to shift your Organization's Culture;
1. Often times people do things because they have to.
2. People then do things because they feel Obligated to.
3. People begin to Love what they do.
As vague as these three statements are we would ask that you sit and ponder these three items for a bit. Then ask yourself How can I help somebody to love what they are doing today? Be aware that whatever tactics you may use to help someone could shift a behavior, however you want to make sure your driving the right behavior, so paying someone $50 or giving them a TV may not drive the right behavior. After you have completed your task we would love to hear from each of you, What did you do to help someone Love what they do?