Friday, June 9, 2017

Lean Quote: Managers are the Lynchpin in the Success of Change

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Management’s job is not to promote satisfaction with the way things are but to create dissatisfaction with the way things are and could be." — Edward M. Baker

Being responsible to generate results is one thing; knowing how to make the results more sustainable, profitable and multifaceted is another.   The new workplace requires everyone to lead and/or coordinate change in some shape or form – but very few have been formally trained to assure that it is effectively implemented.   Managers and supervisors are a lynchpin in the success of a change initiative. 

Employees look to their supervisors not only for direct communication messages about a change, but also to evaluate their level of support for the change effort. If a manager only passively supports or even resists a change, then you can expect the same from that person's direct reports. Managers and supervisors need to demonstrate their support in active and observable ways. The key is this: managers and supervisors must first be onboard with a change before they can support their employees. A change management team should create targeted and customized tactics for engaging and managing the change first with managers and supervisors, and only then charge this important group with leading change with their direct reports.

The role of the manager involves supporting employees through the process of change they experience when projects and initiatives impact their day-to-day work. The Prosci ADKAR Model describes this individual change process as five building blocks of successful change:

Awareness – making those who going to experience the change aware of what will be occurring, why, and how it is relevant to them (WIIFM)

Desire – galvanizing change targets to welcome, want and embrace the change

Knowledge – giving those experiencing change the information which enables them to enact the change

Ability – similar to knowledge, this gives those enacting the change the capability to put it into practice

Reinforcement – reiterating the rationale for change, celebrating successes, addressing weaknesses before they become a disease which cripples the embedding of change.

Help your employees understand the need for the change in the organization by discussing problems with the current system and soliciting advice in making the change successful. Present the big picture, by outlining the organization’s goals and illustrating how the change will help achieve them. Then break down the benefits as they apply directly to the employees.


Don’t expect your employees to adjust to the change right away. Help existing employees adapt to the change faster, and make sure new employees understand it right away by keeping material within the organization up-to-date. Remember that being flexible and collaborative will help you perfect the change even if you take a slightly different route to your goal.



Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel SlideShare

1 comment:

  1. this is so true.......but mostly forgotten, when senior management pushes for any kind of change

    ReplyDelete