Previously, I discussed creating a Lean culture and characteristics of effective change management and I am going to talk about sustaining this change. Simply, sustainability is about lasting change. Sustainability is discussed often and one of the great issues in management, never mind Lean. We have all seen facts related to the low rates of sustaining change or seen news about a company who lost its way.
Charles Darwin said "It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change" which holds true for culture change.
Below are ten factors that will help any organization make the change they make lasting.
Capability – Management must employ the time and resources necessary for change.
Intention – Determination and drive for the cause is required. You must insist we make the change and be determined to keep it up.
Success – People feel happier and perform better when there is a feeling of success and vice versa. Attitude drives performance so managers must project confidence.
Hard Work – It is hard to keep it going. This is entropy. Without it, the system runs down.
Emphasis on the team not the individual – In the
Many small wins, rather than the occasional big win – Small wins keep up the enthusiasm, and certainly add up. Management needs to continually recognize small wins.
Attitude toward failure – Everyone fails from time to time, but what is crucial is the attitude toward failure: do you punish or do you treat it as part of learning?
Motivation – Sustainability requires interest and involvement of all employees. Ask "What gets rewarded around here? Build a culture to support improvement.
Discipline – Make it a habit. Without good disciple the system will not be maintained. Management must teach discipline and correct lapses with respect for people as they occur.
Performance measures – It is true you get what you measure, drive good behavior. Performance measures need to be aligned with what you want to achieve. Think long term.
There is no such thing as self-sustainability, it requires ongoing effort. To quote Jack Welch, 'People always ask, 'Is the change over, can we stop now?' You've got to tell them, 'No, it's just begun!''