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.
Step Three: Give them access to resources that cause change.
If you want to cause change, you have to have the resources that cause change. In some cases that means engineering, in some cases it means money, in some cases it means time. We control people's access to all of those things when they're at work working for us, so if they need those resources in order to cause change, we have to provide those resources.
Time is a special attribute of resources because time is one of the things that, when people are at work, we control most closely. If we want people to take the time to do the work and have the time to cause improvement, we actually have to give them that time.
Quite often, we want people to cause improvement as part of a team or cause improvement as part of a cross functional team, not just their natural work group, but other people who are interested in the same improvement. We have to give them time and we have to schedule the coordination of that time so the teams come together.
Step Four: Give them boundaries.
People at work all know that there are boundaries that cannot be crossed, but we very rarely spend the time to define those boundaries for them. If we want them to cause change, we have to be able to give them the boundaries within which change is permissible.
I'll give you a specific example of the value of knowing what the boundaries are: We run 400 ton trucks -- trucks that will carry 400 tons. Typically our shovel operators put four scoops into the truck, four 100 ton scoops.
Routinely, everybody in the industry knows the 10-10-20 rule -- 10% of your loads can be more than 10% greater than the rate of capacity of the truck, none of your loads can be 20% greater than the rate of capacity of the truck. Everybody knows that.
The result, though, is the shovel operators were routinely under-loading our trucks. We only put about 360 tons into our 400 ton trucks.
Then we put an onboard weighing system so as the shovel operator loads the truck, it tells them how much is already in the truck and then he knows whether to put in a big scoop or a little scoop for the fourth shovel. Turns out we're now routinely carrying 430 tons.
We got about a 20% increase in the capacity of our fleet of trucks just by telling folks where the boundaries were. They knew there was a boundary and they were afraid of crossing it, so they historically didn't get close to it.
Step Five: Give them a framework for action.
What we mean by a framework for action is, if they're going to cause change, and especially if they're going to cause change as part of a team, there has to be a way for the team to come together. There has to be a way for the team to know how they propose ideas to their team members, how the team members together vote to promote something from an idea into action, how to allocate the resources that are available to the team. They have to actually give the team the ability to conduct that intelligent improvement activity or they can't do it.
Step Six: Give them a process for change.
Basically the process for change has to be one that leads up to a new one right way of doing things. You can't just have people doing random changes. All of their changes have to lead to a new one right way of doing things.