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The More We Work –
The More We Learn (or Should),
about Leadership
       (Clic para Versión en español)

By Enrique Mora

Consulting is a unique experience. Sharing the daily learning is very rewarding and in many cases it helps bring corporations and persons to a higher level of satisfaction and productivity. That is what it is all about!

As we see the advancement of new techniques in every field, the conviction grows about the key elements in progress.

Many new customers ask a relevant question:
Where should we start?
The answer is sometimes not very well accepted.
“Transformation into World-Class
must start from Management!” 

The majority of the workforce is made of good willing people who easily understand the convenience of becoming involved in the progress of the organization. When we start explaining the need to change attitudes and improving communication, most of the time we hear a different question from the trainees: Are the managers going to receive this information? Will they really change the way they treat us? Will they accept our opinions and willingness to help improve processes, operations, and systems?

The truth is: most Top Managers are not ready to change gears. They love power in the old version: “Authority must make people obey our orders.” They are unaware of the changes that have been taking place the last few decades, where respecting, truly training, and empowering the people are the new norms.

Many authors have been writing on this subject since the last quarter of the 20th Century. Actually William Edwards Deming and some other wise people expressed these ideas since the 1950’s. Many Japanese listened and put that advice into practice, and so have some Koreans and many other advanced thinkers all over the world.

The conservative minds though, have seen this as a disruption of the comfortable Status Quo. The bad news for them: This change is already happening and unless we embrace it, we will be out of luck! Education and Communication, along with Human Rights, have done a number in the social tissue. Time is showing once and again that these changes must keep taking place. This trend will not slow down; actually it is accelerating by the day. It is the reality of most of the enterprises that are at the top of the competition in most countries.

It is not a new fashion to make us look good;
it is more of a reality that will allow us to survive
.

The result of adopting these new ways of running a business are looking less like an ancient coal mine and more like a Mc. Donald’s restaurant, or a Walmart store, or a Toyota plant.

It is an environment where all associates can, (and many have done it), achieve unsuspected levels of participation in the business. The new-thinking managers understand that the participation and involvement of all levels of associates, (new reference to what used to be called “employees”), goes much beyond their original “job description.” Those who understand this, grow without limits. Delegation and Empowerment will bring everyone to a higher commitment and accountability, creating the right culture of cooperation.

One other concept that needs to be switched is “Departmentalism,” because that way of thinking makes people limit their involvement in all the issues that affect them or that they could positively influence. 

If you still call “Departments” to your “Areas of Responsibility,” I strongly recommend switching those words, because the word "department" creates the idea of separation of responsibilities. That concept does not match the new requirements. Remove barriers and limitations! People will surprise you and work happier and better!

Email me at: Leadership@leanexpertise.com I will personally answer all questions and comments.

 

 

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