So your team does't like change..... really?

My team doesn't like change so starting Lean here won’t go well.

I am always curious about this comment, mainly because I am wondering about who is actually resistant to change - leadership or the team?  At the end of the day, Lean is a change programme.  The difference, the really big difference is that when done well, it is people led.  Team driven change.

Outcomes are a better business through improved efficiency.  Because the team has taken the lead, they are less stressed, improved job satisfaction.  Best of all, customers are receiving better products and services.  Now why would you be resistant to change like that?

Unlike a change programme that has been set by management focused on an organisational goal such as a restructure, new functional teams, rebranding etc. Lean Thinking puts all the control into the hands of the specialists - the people who do the work.  So when I reflect on the statement, my team doesn't like change, it often is more aligned with leadership not willing to let go of the control.  I can never understand why, we are all busy, there is always more to do, so why keep control of stuff you don’t have to?

Given the chance, most people I know and have had the pleasure to work with, relish the chance to fix problems that are bugging them.  Finally sort out the issues that continuously create firefighting, wasted time and energy every week. I am 100% certain that given the opportunity to own the changes that will resolve the issues, the response will be “where do we sign up?”.

Why? Because they will be empowered to make their job better, they will be driving the actions needed to be a better business. Once they are able to “see” where the opportunities are, they can then make a positive difference to their job.  Once they fix that, the team will eventually help out with colleagues to solve the next challenge. This might sound like nirvana, but it actually happens!  Set the ‘why’ and stand back and let the team figure out the ‘how’.  Once they are given permission, the right tools and the know how, it will surprise you on what can be achieved.

These changes will impact on the performance of the business - in a good way. Let your staff improve their jobs, the tasks that they are responsible for. Each improvement will create a better business.

So is it the team that resists change or resist the ideas of others on how the work should be done? Yes there will be a few people that are cautious, some team members will slao be like a red rag to a bull!  We need to understand this, be ok that people will adopt this way of thinking at different rates.

Give your team a chance. I am sure they will love the opportunity to change - Lean Style!!


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