Floor Tape Store

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Removing Resistance to Change

This is a guest post by Tony Manos a 5S champion at 5S Supply. Tony is a business advisor with Profero, Inc., Inc., where he provides professional consulting services, implementation, coaching and training to a wide variety of organizations, large and small, private and public, in many industries focusing on Lean Enterprise and Lean Healthcare. He is also the co-author of the book "Lean Kaizen: A Simplified Approach to Process Improvement", author of many articles on Lean and its allied subjects and presents at many conferences each year. Tony contributes to the 5S Supply Blog and you can follow on twitter at @5SSupply.

While contemplating the 5th S, "Sustain" of 5S I was thinking about resistance from people that seems to be prevalent when trying to implement a solid 5S system. We all know about change management and how important it is to have management's commitment for a program like this.

I think we need to take it even a step further, down to the individual's level. Let's discover why there is resistance and see what we can do to eliminate or reduce it. Then it dawned on me that I could use one of the tools from my days as a quality manager to help look at the forces involved with a change like this called Force Field Analysis.

The purpose of using Force Field Analysis

From the Memory Jogger II it says "To identify the forces and factors in place that support or work against the solution of an issue or problem so that the positives can be reinforced and/or the negatives can be eliminated or reduced." I think this is a great application of this tool to help people understand what they may be facing with their 5S program.

Click here for a free Force Field Analysis Form.

How to use Force Field Analysis

Draw a large "T" on a piece of paper or flip chart with the left column for "Driving Forces" and the right column for "Forces Against Change". Write the proposal in the middle at the top. For example, we can say "Having all our employees actively engaged in our 5S system." Now with your team, brainstorm ideas or reasons why people would be for the change or against the change. Have the team come to consensus on the intensity of the force based on a scale of 1-5 (1=low, 5= high). You can total the numbers at the bottom of the column and see if you have net support or resistance. It is critical at this point that you have the team brainstorm ideas that will either help support the forces for or mitigate the forces against. You can write these next to the item in the column. Finally, using these ideas put together a plan to implement these items.

It is important to follow-up with this to make sure you are on target. Check your results. Is your 5S implementation getting better? Do you have less resistance to change? Consider capturing "Lessons Learned" so you can improve the process for other Lean initiatives.


Change management and leading change are deep and rich subjects that go far beyond what I could write in a blog. This is just one tool that could help us get more people onboard and to help us create a world-class 5S organization. Test it out, try it yourself and see what happens. I hope this helps. Let me know what you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment