Never try to change something

One of my favorite statements is:
"Never try to change something if you don't love it as it is now"

What drives you to change something? What is your motivation?

When your make a statement about something that you want to change (eg waiting in a department or the willingness to help each other), do you disqualify the current situation? Do you speak about how it should be, without a deep understanding of why it is as it is now?

Lean thinking is based on systems thinking, which comes down to:
"Every system is perfectly designed for the results it gets"
(Paul Batalden)
If the results are not good, what is the cause? Improving results requires insight into why the current system performs the way it does.

Principle 12 of  The Toyota Way (as described by Liker) is:
"Go see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (Genchi Genbutsu)"
A common strategy used in change management is to make people very dissatisfied with the current situation. To make it clear that everything is bad and that everything must change. The jargon for this is 'to create a burning platform'. Then people will have to jump.

When is that a wise strategy? Cetrainly not if you want to improve the way Toyota does. Perhaps it is wise if the current system is so sick that you need a radical change? I doubt it.

Each organization that exists over a longer period has values that under the surface that establish cohesiveness and provide continuity. In terms of Teun Hardjono: that feed the intellectual and social capabilities of organisations.

A burning platform gives momentum for change, but usually the baby is thrown out with the bathwater by also disqualafying what is good.

A deep understanding of the current situation clarifies why the current approach does not lead to the value that you want to create together. In there lies, often dorment, the motivation for every careprovider to do things differently.

To understand the situation thoroughly, and to connect to the experiences of the people involved you must throw yourself into the work processes. To investigate. To understand.

Which motivation fits with this? In any case, not by disqualification of the current situation. Then you do injustice to the people and you distort a clear view on the system.
"If you do not love what you are trying to change, do something else"

1 opmerking:

Mark Graban zei

Interesting post. I think we often get too enthusiastic to overly criticize the status quo. There might be waste, and the patient might benefit from change, but today's waste was the good idea of a previous day.

Recognizing that the people who designed the old system (or just allowed it to happen) might have their feelings hurt by the identification of waste shouldn't necessarily stop us from improving, but it should give us pause to show respect for their previous efforts and to empathize with why pride may get in the way of them supporting kaizen.