Lean transformations typically require interventions on both content (technical) and cultural aspects (attitude and behavior) and these together initiate and drive the required change. When assisting clients on their Lean journeys, my focus is on this triangle of content, culture and change. However, this change does not happen just because you intend it. As many have learned, people don’t change because you want them to change. But they don’t dislike change either. They just don’t like being changed. For a successful and sustainable Lean transformation, Trust (T) needs to be built between leadership, managers and the workforce, but also between any support staff or consultant and line management. Trust is required in order to be accepted as leader, coach or Lean guide.
The Trust Formula: T = (C x I) / R
To build trust, three elements are of importance:
- C is for Credibility. Previous experience, competency, logical thinking, (pro-active) references, reputation and credentials all build your credibility. You need to create followers on your Lean journey. Without credibility you will not be able to take up your role as a guide on that journey.
- I is for Intimacy and represents the closeness you need to create with the teams and their leadership that you will guide. Without good relationships, you will not be able to create the openness required to discuss the real problems in the organization
- R, lastly, stands for Risk. No journey is without risk, and as a guide you will need to be able to identify the risks, be frank about them, and propose appropriate countermeasures well before risks materialize. You always need to think ahead, for the pitfalls around the corner and guide the organization around them.
For anyone, to be accepted in a role of leader or guide, you need to work on all elements that will build trust. Trust that is required for people to follow you. They need to believe you based upon your credibility, be open to you based upon good relationships and at the same time you need to eliminate or at least reduce the risk people perceive when they join you on the Lean journey.
Have a good journey!