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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Individual Motivation Driven By Mutual Respect

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

By Malcolm Newman, KCTS Consultant

I have recently carried different types of Health Check assessments on 2 similar but very different manufacturing operations; the one striking thing they had in common was the positive motivation of their employees.

In both operations there was a spread of people who had recently joined the operations to those with 10 or more years experience within the business.

Neither business was paying any more than the market rate, conditions in the plants were relatively safe, healthy and clean; but you would not describe them as particularly good.

Yet nearly all of the people I talked to were enthusiastic about their work. They were keen to show what they did and how they did it. They certainly did not have best in class Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to help them explain what and how things worked.

The outstanding thing they shared was mutual respect.

The Management and Leadership respected people as individuals with knowledge and skills. The team members respected the Managers and Leaders for their position and responsibilities.

As I analysed there opinions and understanding of how thing worked I concluded that they listened to each other; when things were not working to plan or as expected  or they had ideas on improvements, they looked for and worked on solutions together.

There were no suggestion schemes or bonuses related to productivity as both managements considered this could be detrimental to quality and motivation. What both had was an openness to share ideas, the shifts supported each other with improvement ideas and they were not competing with each other.

Both operations went to considerable effort to communicate what was happening to the business, there were formal management presentations but most formal communication is through the immediate leaders but backed up by a visible and approachable management team who reinforced the values and policies of the organisation.

Both operations had faced challenges and knew that the external competition in their industry was tough. I think the thing that united these people and motivated them was that to survive and grow they had to do their best. What ever tasks they had to do they were aware of their customers needs and they did not intend to give the customer a bad or even slightly off specification product and they certainly did not like to see money being wasted. It all just makes common sense to them and as everyone in the team feels they are working together they enjoy getting the job done.

Thinking abut why they are so positively motivated I concluded that both operations are a great demonstration that true motivation comes from the way people are treated. Being done to by others as you would want to be treated yourself: Mutual respect.

Top 5 things to do when launching a Planned Maintenance programme

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Written By: Stephen Ellis – KCTS Consultant

For those maintenance or production personnel contemplating introducing a planned maintenance programme, here, in no particular order, are the top 5 things to do:

1. Do you have the Leadership ‘will’ and commitment towards planned maintenance? To launch a planned maintenance system it will require resources – time, people, materials, systems. It will also require patience and persistence. Planned maintenance does NOT yield immediate results. It is important that the leadership understand:-

a. Why they have to have a planned maintenance system?

b. How to use a planned maintenance system to ensure it delivers effective results?

c. How to develop and create a planned maintenance programme?

2. Do you have a list of assets? To perform planned maintenance you need to understand your asset population and the detailed equipment information about each asset.

3. Where should you focus your planned maintenance resources and effort? With limited resources you will need to focus your resources based on priorities and need. Do you have any data or experience of what goes wrong, or where the risks are?

4. Do you understand the elements of a planned maintenance system – focus equipment and safe access to equipment, capable and available labour resources, available tools and materials, work standards and reporting, work scheduling, work and system review.

5. Do you have the necessary skills:-

a. To manage the planned maintenance system. Do you have to create the system? Is the system created? For both of these questions different skills are required.

b. To apply the planned maintenance tasks. Do you have the relevant skills to perform typical planned maintenance tasks – condition inspection, replacement, setting, calibrating, adjusting etc,?

If you would like to know more about how you can improve your planned maintenance programme effectiveness, please contact us.

Are you ready for your Lean Journey?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Written By: Cordell Hensley – KCTS Consultant

I recently ran a half marathon, not fast and it was quite painful. This is partly because I didn’t seek out advice before I started running, as Nike would say, Just Do It! I did. In retrospect I should have checked with the experts, my doctor & a trainer to determine whether or not I was ready and to put me on the correct training plan to ensure that I didn’t hurt myself. They could have also given me advice to get the most out of my training and even helped me along the way with motivation, direction, guidance and general support.

When we start out on the journey towards world class its very similar. We should have the doctor over to give us a health check and we should have a trainer help us develop the appropriate training and performance plan. Having outside support on our journey offers many advantages and it will ensure that we approach the journey with the right mindset, the right expectations and with the support already in place for when we get frustrated and de-motivated.

This health check doesn’t have to be intense, we are not trying out for the space programme, but we do need to establish a clear picture of our starting position. It’s great to know where you want to go, but if you are not sure where you are, how do you know which way to go.

A Lean Health Check should identify your current position and the best path to take to get you moving, get some quick wins and build the right PACE into your programme to ensure you are successful. Looking at areas such as Leadership, Culture, Capability and Systems & Procedures the Lean Health Check should provide an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and should ensure that you begin your journey properly.

Already started down on the journey? Finding things are not progressing as they should? Maybe you should have had the doctor & trainer in to determine the appropriate path for you to take; fortunately it’s not too late. The Lean Health check is also able to assist those who have started and fallen behind or lost their way – it helps them get back on track by identifying where they went wrong and establishes a clear path to get back on track.

If you’re thinking about improving your performance, take the advice heard so often in physical fitness, get a doctor in and a trainer and let them help you determine your current position and develop a good plan going forward. There’s no need to go it alone.

Which Step of Your CI Journey Are You On?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

“7 Steps of Every Change”

Written By: Paul Steven – KCTS Consultant

How is your business coping with the challenge of introducing dramatic improvements today? Are you familiar with the 7 Steps of Every Change? Do you know how to use these steps to deliver the change you want in your business? You can learn here how to use them quickly and effectively for results starting today.

The “7 Steps of Every Change” can be described in many ways, but countless companies rely on navigating through their changes successfully using the following interpretation.

  1. Unfreeze the complacency, by demonstrating the urgent need for change
  2. Create Change Agentswho have a common Vision & measureable Objectives
  3. Communicate “Every Day in Every Way” about the change
  4. Generate Quick Wins to associate the change with success.
  5. Include & Grow the number of people involved in the change
  6. Deliver the Full Plan including its difficult actions (80+20) before Step 7
  7. Refreeze the standards (written or social) but include a way to challenge


The first part of using the “7 Steps of Every Change” is to unfreeze the complacency within your business for continuing as it is now. If there is no urgent, emotional, driving need within the business for this change to occur, business inertia will stop the change dead in its tracks. The logical reasons for the change may be clear and demonstrable, but the burning desire to change needs to be lit around the business. You must target key Stakeholders but include everyone related to the change.

Once key Stakeholders are emotionally engaged in changing, they need help delivering. Change Agentsare people aligned to a Vision of the business after the change, they are the people ready to get involved and make the change happen. You need make sure the team of Change Agents have a common Vision and measureable Objectives. Their alignment is crucial to the success of your change.

Change Agents make things happen and people like to hear about those successes. People actively want to participate in successful, interesting and honest change. This is why communication, generating quick wins and including & growing the number of people involved in the change is a virtuous circle. This circle is formed around the concepts of challenging, learning & applying and sustaining.  Steps 3, 4 & 5 are the enablers to ensure Step 6 is possible.

You may have been taught about the Pareto Rule than 80% of the outcome is often controlled by 20% of the actions. It is tempting to only implement those 20% of the actions and move on. When you deliver the full plan, the ability to sustain become apparent. The actions with no merit should not be included in any plan, but actions which deliver the full change correctly and honestly will pay dividends in the culture of your business. Before the standards related to a change are refrozen, you must conclude the plan.

Refreezing the standards and culture of your business after the change requires another emotional content. A celebration, however modest, is needed to allow people to reflect on the actions completed, the changes delivered and the new ways. As changes become a necessary cycle of all business, when refreezing you must put in place systems to allow challenge within the business. The next unfreeze will be needed at some time in the future.

Start today with unfreezing any of your complacency of what can and cannot change. You’re then one step closer to continuous improvement becoming “normal” culture. Kaizen is improving a little everyday and keeping that improvement you made.



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