Rolling out Corporate Led Initiatives as One-Size-Fits-All — I’m Sorry, What Did You Say? I said: It’s Different Out Here – Can Anybody Hear Me?
Making successful change in larger, complex organizations requires an understanding of their different environments. Too often, enterprise-led changes are designed from the enterprise view of the overall organization only, using what the team believes is a high quality solution that they’ve benchmarked from another organization or gleaned from a few well-chosen team members viewed as representing the “rest of the organization.”
In addition, change management plans typically focus on understanding the changes that need to be made – given the current state – to achieve the Desired States.
The manufacturing landscape includes facilities that have evolved over time to their current state to meet on-going challenges, strategy and customer requirements. These evolutions are influenced by a number of factors including labor unions, economic conditions, employment landscape, cost and local leadership personality. In fact, many aspects of the current state are not going to change as they are essential to success. As a result, trying to implement Desired States that are not achievable in all facilities leads to change failure and frustration for both the project team trying to implement the changes and the employees within each facility.
Manufacturing Desired State Assessment is a free facility checklist that will help you achieve a successful change: http://t.co/IY9dHNcRCW
— LaMarsh Global (@LaMarshGlobal) January 7, 2015
Although the Desired States in manufacturing environments have common elements, I’ve experienced significant differences and intricacies in them that may be necessary for them to be successful. Not taking the time to understand the organizational system in each facility and introducing a one-size-fits-all Desired State often negatively impact the credibility of the team and corporate office in general.
It’s not uncommon for well-meaning employees who have been asked to manage change to have a one- size-fits-all perspective on what success looks like. This view typically focuses on the things that the individual or team can control. Unfortunately, it’s only when the resulting plans are beginning to be executed that the realization sets in that the “solution” won’t work in different environments. The obstacles and barriers that seem to surface include things like:
- Organizational structures are different
- Leader and manager competence is not consistent across the organization
- Related processes and work practices differ from facility to facility
- The maturity levels of process definition and compliance vary
- Customer requirements are different from facility to facility
- Local policies, laws, union agreements
Skilled change agents take the time to understand the environments that the Desired State needs to be achieved within. They drive thinking and conversation to discover how the required organization system will support or reject the Desired State. When there are multiple environments with very visible, different characteristics, it’s entirely possible that a view of a Desired State needs to be created for each environment. The decision around whether multiple desired states are needed begins with a thorough current state assessment.