Focused Forum from IMC-2015 - 28:47
by Jeff Shiver, People & Processes

Thinking back over your career, you have probably lived through (and survived) many initiatives that ultimately required some level of culture transformation. Surely you recognize the tools; reliability centered maintenance, root cause analysis, total production manufacturing, lean, six sigma and theory of constraints, and so on. Often times, these initiatives were poorly funded and resourced. Add to that the competing objectives with cost cutting and downsizing, not to mention multiple objectives at the same time. It’s not unlike management throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. Reality is that most doesn’t. So it’s not surprising that 70-75% of initiatives fail to yield the anticipated results. I’ve been there and done that too.

If we consider our goals, they are somewhat straightforward. Engage the people, meet the customer requirements, and generate profits for the business. To do that, we need reliability in all things; the people, the equipment, and the processes. But reliability does not come from fixing things faster or planning the work as examples. The reliability we seek comes from defect elimination in all those things; the people, equipment, and processes. If we consider these defects, the majority are random and driven by behaviors. Behaviors translate to culture. Culture beats strategy hands down. The challenge becomes not changing but transforming the culture, transforming the behaviors. People buy-in to change when they help create it. So, rather than a top down “thou shalt” strategy, we have to provide a compass for change. Creating that compass and engagement requires leadership, Reliability Leadership.

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