A Leader’s Guide to turn Resistance into
Manufacturingis revolutionizing the culture and the attitudes of the global
business world.The evolution of
the Kaizen process and technology is breathing new life into troubled companies,
streamlining service organizations, and bringing the thinking of continuous
process improvements to top-level management everywhere on earth.
though the commitment to “go lean” is an exciting and dynamic system to
adopt and implement, this change (like any change) brings tremendous stress to
the management and employees of the organizations undergoing this modern
approach to improvement.Lean manufacturing implementation is complex, slow, variable,
and on-going – all elements which produce stress (good and bad) for the people
involved in this process.
leaders are aware of the negative results of stress – overload, burn-out,
fatigue – in both themselves and their teams.Resistance to change is detrimental.Adapting and accepting change is positive and productive.
At the first
inkling of a major change coming to an organization, employees’ stress begins
to escalate.Rumors start because
little information is available.Top
management probably has not confirmed the change strategy but the fact that an
organizational change is the topic of upper-level management meetings will
filter its way through the ranks.Speculation
could be high, especially if there is a large time span (weeks, months) before
the announcement of the specific organizational change.
needs to deal with this pre-announcement stress by education and training, not
secrecy.Reassurances should be
made to the employees as to job security, the continuance of the company, and
that the change is for the overall good of the organization.If the rumors are not stopped or suppressed, the announcement of the
change will meet a great deal of resistance from the very beginning.This resistance will be a mountain of opposition to overcome as it will
be full of employees’ and customers’ negative attitudes and fears.Top management must give much thought and consideration to how the
“people” issues will be handled and the process of incremental steps of
leaders are usually in the position of being informed of upper-level strategy
and yet not allowed to divulge the full plan.It is their difficult job of not being able to give all the details to
their teams and yet answer their employees’ questions fully.The stress is insidious for team members, team leaders, and management.Each person needs to find ways to handle his/her stress and strive to
maintain a high efficiency.
the organization change announcement of “going lean,” education and training
begins in earnest.These are the
two key elements in overcoming resistance and fear.Stress levels are high as new demands, procedures, and
processes are devised.
The Good Leaders
leaders (because they know people issues are critical) have informed themselves
of the mechanics of stress, how to deal with it personally, and how to educate
their team members into turning “bad” stress into “good” stress.
leaders are able to model positive attitudes.
leaders can see a resistant employee’s behavior and understand the
leaders take steps to consul and coach.
leaders encourage adaptive attitudes.
identify negative stress signs...
are always on the look-out for indications of stress with their team members.Here’s a partial list of “bad” stress signs:
Negative attitude – the cup is half empty syndrome
Feeling of being overwhelmed
Overall lack of enthusiasm
Tired, run-down over a long
period of time (weeks, months)
Signs of “burn-out”
Recurring health problems
Hinting at looking for
Constant conflicts with
Very vocal or very quiet
ittle or no participation
in team meetings
Not willing to volunteer for
Frequent tardiness or
Avoids talking to you or
doesn’t make eye contact
Unwilling to learn new
processes or procedures
Increased use of alcohol or
Fear of losing control
to relax, concentrate or sleep
TAKING CONTROL OF STRESS
the Serenity to Accept the Things they Cannot Change…
Courage to Change the Things they Can…
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference.”
to the inevitable is difficult…no one wants to be a “quitter.”However, submission is often empowering.Submitting to change, rather than resisting, means taking that negative
energy and transforming it into the advantage of strength.
taking control of stress:
a leader, by taking control of stress:
find someone to blame.
see change as an enemy.
control managing the pressure.
see “change” as a friend.
realize the organization’s need to improve.
embrace a positive attitude.
2.) GO WITH THE FLOW
world constantly revolves and evolves whether we acknowledge these changes or
not.By accepting the fact of
change as a way life, leaders can relax and acknowledge that change is as
natural as sunrise and sunset.Leaders model this attitude and behavior, knowing that others
emulate good leaders.
not going with the flow:
a leader, by going with the flow:
struggle emotionally and waste energy.
make mistakes, causing more stress.
fight a lost cause.
stay on the sidelines and avoid being in the game.
adjust quickly to a changing environment.
align yourself with the organization.
make choices and decisions confidently.
enjoy the support of others who are going with the flow.
3.) REALIZE THE RULES HAVE CHANGED TOO
Remember:Playing the new game with old rules is a futile effort.Look at each situation and analyze how the priorities have changed.Focus on your effectiveness – how have your responsibilities changed?
not playing by the new rules:
a leader, by playing by the new rules:
work harder using the old rules.
go by the attitude of “that’s how it was always done”
do not make the necessary adjustments for change.
ignore new expectations of your job performance evaluation.
try to stay in your “comfort zone.”
avoid new opportunities.
know your job now requires new work habits and mindset.
are open to new opportunities to implement change.
develop new routines
keep up with the organization’s rate of change.
are prepared for surprises.
expect some chaos when change is rapid and unfamiliar.
4.) BE READY FOR A RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
who have the courage to change will be stressful.The atmosphere is dynamic and at times, chaotic.Leaders recognize that companies who fail to change will fail completely
and likely go out of business.Going
through the pains and difficulties of change and improvement is ultimately in
everyone’s best interest as it means survival in this global economy.
not experiencing a changing organization:
a leader, by experiencing a changing organization:
are less pressured to perform at a high level.
are more likely to lose your job when the company downsizes or goes out of business.
know your company is ready for the future.
know the price is high and the results of success enormous.
do research and outside reading to keep up-to-date.
adapt a philosophy of flexibility.
5.)KNOW WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL AND WHAT YOU CAN’T
of our worries today are things over which we have absolutely no control.One of the first questions a leader will ask when worrying about
something at 3 a.m. is:How much
control, if any, do I have over this?Usually,
it’s little or no influence on the situation.If the situation is one we’re able to make a decision about, then do it
and move on.If not, forget about
trying to control the uncontrollable:
a leader, by not trying to control everything:
keep trying to undo things that can’t be undone – wasting timeand energy.
suffer high frustration and higher stress.
feel like you’re losing control when in fact you have none.
adapt to new situations instead of making the situation adaptto you.
accept the reality of the situation.
spend your time and energy on important, controllable matters.
know what you can change and what you can’t.
control your future.
6.) ACCEPT THE RATE OF CHANGE
you feel you’re facing the reality of change and you’re ready.Good!Now it’s
important to stay with the pace of the improvements, even a little ahead of the
changes, if possible.
not staying with the rate of change:
a leader, by accepting the rate of change:
are holding up everyone else.
are, in fact, resisting change even if your intent is acceptance.
create tension between yourself and the organization.
too cautious and slow down your productivity.
keep up with the latest developments.
model a good attitude and work ethic.
help others “catch up” so the entire company is on the same page.
strive to maximize your personal productivity and effectiveness.
7.) KEEP UP WITH YOUR CHANGING WORKLOAD &
Manufacturing means your job will change along with other employees.You must recreate your job and your priorities.You must get rid of the old job duties that are not important and that
have been eliminated.Let go and be
sure your job is also “value added” and relevant to the company’s
not keeping up with your changing workload:
a Leader, by keeping up with your changing workload:
are not serving your customers.
make more work for your team mates as they pick up your slack.
hang on to old habits and priorities .
fail to do the right thing.
eliminate unnecessary steps and activities.
expect an ever-changing workload.
know management expectations have changed to higher standards.
feel committed to your job and your company.
focus on doing things right.
CARE OF YOURSELF
CARE OF YOUR TEAM
cannot be eliminated.Strive for a
lifestyle with good stress: watching your son play quarterback at school;
learning a new language; buying a new house.
your good health, know the difference between good stress and bad stress.Most of us know the basics of daily stress control: exercise, relaxation,
positive attitude, fun, plenty of sleep, etc.
As a leader, you are in control of your stress and manage it.No one else can do this for you.When
you accept the responsibility of taking care of yourself, then you can educate
and support others to cope with theirs.It’s
to the advantage of the organization that you, as a leader, include this vital
job as part of your on-going responsibilities.
Mora has spent many years in the training and development
areas in the Health Insurance Industry. Her experience has included:
B.S. degree in Business Management, Hands-On process improvement through
the Deming Principles and extensive experience as Supervisor of Trainers
and Customer Service Representatives.
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