What is in this article?:
- 6 Steps to Empowering Workers to Create Change within Your Organization
- Step Three: Give them access to resources that cause change.
Suncor Energy (IW 1000/116) vice president Raymond Floyd closed this year's IW Best Plants Conference with a surprisingly informative keynote. Rather than simply providing case studies or an overview of what his company is doing to develop their lean practices, he provided attendees with a point-by-point recipe for building a successful team of workers who are empowered to cause change within their organization.
The result was a remarkable and rare collection of insights from a man who is no stranger to building successful teams -- to which his 2011 inauguration into the IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame can certainly attest.
The following are Floyd's six steps to creating a system of engaged, change-causing workers that helped him develop award winning teams at Suncor and Exxon Mobil (IW 500/1) throughout his career, in his own words.
HOW TO CREATE A SYSTEM FOR CHANGE
Step One: Give people the goals that you will pursue and give them the goals they'll pursue in terms that enable them to contribute.
The company I work for has a goal of producing a million barrels of oil a day. You go to a person who is all by himself working on a truck, midnight on Sunday and say "How 'bout them million barrels of oil?" He's going to blink at you and keep on working on the truck.
If you go to the person who is all by himself working on a truck at midnight on Sunday and say, "Our goal is to produce a million barrels of oil and the way you contribute to that is to treat this truck like its a pit stop and get the truck back in the mine. And by the way, I'll teach you how to do that." Then all of a sudden he understands the shared goal and he understands his role in the shared goal and now he can help you.
If you don't go through that process, you'll never get that outcome.
Step Two: Give people skills.
It doesn't do us any good at all to walk up to a guy working on a truck at midnight on Sunday and say, "What I'd really like you to do is, instead of taking 72 clock hours to perform the maintenance on this truck, I'd actually like for you to do three of them during this shift."
It doesn't sound possible, it doesn't sound like something he's interested in doing.
But if you teach him the skills of SMED, if you teach him how to plan his work and give him a nice, 5S, orderly workplace with all of the attributes that will enable him to have the tools and the equipment and the experience and the parts -- and if he has everything he needs and he's been trained on how to use all of those things -- all of a sudden you can begin thinking about doing three trucks in one 12-hour shift instead of one truck in 72 hours.
But we have to give people those skills. They don't naturally have them.