It only takes ONE!

A revitalization of a plant or a company usually involves (or should) members of all levels of the organization, from plant leadership to folks on the floor.  If not, stop there – any desired changes will NOT stick !!!!

But, if you (as a facilitator) have a great team assembled and one, only one, management person comes in and tells the team why their idea is unworkable or unrealistic, you have lost the team, especially those from the floor.  Too often those folks have not ever been asked to give input into plant changes, and when they finally do, they are “sticking their necks out”. For their ideas to be snuffed by any member of management is a personal  insult, and they will be DONE participating – forever potentially.

As a facilitator, you need to anticipate the “concrete heads” that might ruin the party.  And either exclude them from the entire effort, or have a discussion with them ahead of time about how hard the team has worked, about the team’s solidarity, and how to approach criticism, if there is any.

Might be uncomfortable, dependent on the hierarchical level of the potential troublemaker, but will pay off in the end.

Remember, plant change (Lean or other) is 98% culture and 2% tools.  PRESERVE YOUR NEW-FOUND CULTURE!!!

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