One of the big mistakes the people who run organizations make is to see a need for change and then just start changing. This approach virtually guarantees failure. “Why,” you ask? A perceived need for change usually does not include a road map to the future. In other words, they skip the critical step of defining their Guiding Principles. Guiding Principles clearly define what the organization requires to get from where it is to where it needs to be.
For example, we worked with an emerging telecommunications company a few years back. The first thing we did after our orientation / join-up meetings was to hold an off-site with the entire leadership team to define the organization’s Guiding Principles. Over a period of three days we identified 12. Once the Guiding Principles were defined we were able to prioritize them and work through them in an orderly fashion. We’ll look at all 12 over the next few weeks.
Today, we’ll look at the first one.
1) We must have systems and processes that are easy to use and provide complete and correct information when we need it.
This organization grew rapidly. There were leaps and starts. It frequently offered new products and services, often driven by a perceived need to combat competition. It dropped old products and services in what appeared to be a random manner. It never had a formal approach for information systems. They realized that they would never reach their goal of becoming a World Class provider without excellent, timely information. So, that is where they started.
Tip of the day: If you don’t know where you’re going, chances are you won’t know if and/or when you get there!
Had I flicked the switch I surely would have had severe burns and I might have died!
One of the houses I lived in was built in 1934. Inside the house, virtually all of the electric service was updated when I remodeled the house. The garage, however, was all original. There was one overhead light activated by a switch located just inside the overhead door. The switch was so old, when you flicked the light on, you’d see and hear the spark the mechanical contacts made.
That garage was full of everything but cars. The garage was the only storage space the house offered, so I used it as such.
One day when it was raining hard, I needed something out of the garage so I walked through the garage in the dark avoiding clutter so I could get to that one and only switch just inside the overhead door and turn the light on. As I reached for the switch my arm knocked a can of starting ether off a shelf. A split second before my finger hit the switch the can of ether hit an anvil and burst open drenching my pants in liquid ether and filled the air with fumes.
I vividly remember my finger making contact with the switch and thinking, if I flick that switch the spark will ignite the ether, there will be an awful explosion and I will be burned to a crisp.
I wasn’t implementing a plan or action. I was just going to turn on a light. Yet Plan Implementation Analysis (PIA) was such a part of how I thought that I instinctively asked and answered the question, “With ether in the air and on my clothes, what could go wrong if I flick that switch” in a heart beat. Glad I did. No explosion, no fire.
The last two posts introduced the process of MindSet change, Thinking, Talking, Doing, relative to training. We looked at the first two steps in some detail. Click the links to review the prior two posts. http://troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=1890 http://troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=1902 This week we’ll look at the last step.
The Thinking and Talking of MindSet change need to be underway before effective Doing can happen. Although started in the Thinking and Talking phases the Doing phase directly addresses:
- Formalizing goals relative to the training
- Defining roles and responsibilities relative to the changes in behavior and committing to them.
- Implementing the training.
- Fine tuning the measurement system.
- Identifying problems relative to the changed behaviors and solving them.
- Finding opportunities to maximize the positive impact of the changed behaviors and capturing them.
- Developing ways to make the changed behaviors the “normal” way of operating.
Just as in Thinking and Talking, the Doing phase of MindSet change is driven by the nature and complexity of the desired behavior changes.
Here’s another truth about Human Behavior. People are more likely to support something if they are involved in it. The Thinking, Talking, Doing process of MindSet change is a process of involvement. Paying attention to MindSet and involvement helps minimize people’s resistance to doing things differently.
Final thoughts about MindSet
For people to support a change in their behavior they do not need to like it. They need to understand it and accept it. Commitment to a new set of behaviors comes from understanding and accepting them.
For our client that changed its manufacturing approach from Piece Work to Production Cells, some parts of this change were disliked by virtually everyone. But, virtually everyone could and did support the over-all change because they understood and accepted it. They all knew that the company’s future relied on the change to Production Cells. Had this company not paid attention to MindSet, they could never have pulled off this change!
Last week I introduced you to the process of MindSet change, Thinking, Talking, Doing, and how it relates to training. In addition we discussed the Thinking step in some detail. Click link to review last week’s post. http://troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=1890
The more new, the more complex, the more the training is designed to change behaviors, the more you need to pay attention to the process of MindSet change. This week we’ll look at the second step in the process of MindSet change.
If the required change in behavior is complex (which is the case for a lot of training) people also must talk about it. The key things to talk about include, but are not limited to:
- What is this training all about?
- Why do we need to do it do it? What will our job look like after the training has taken place?
- What are our goals relative to this training? How are we going to achieve them?
- What are the new roles or changed roles of everyone involved in the training? What are our new accountabilities? What new skills will we acquire?
- Because of the training, what do we need to measure? How will we measure it? What is the best way to give (and get) feedback?
- What do we need to communicate? How are we going to communicate it?
How you implement the Thinking and Talking is driven by the nature and complexity of the training. If, for example, your people are trained often and are comfortable with changing their behavior from time to time, then the Thinking and Talking can be as simple as saying, “The Engineering Department has found a more efficient way to do the first three steps of Process B. Let’s take a look at how that’s done.” Then implement the training interactively.
On the other hand, if the training is massive, the Thinking and Talking can be stand alone events. One of our clients, for example, changed its approach to manufacturing from Piece Work, that is each hourly worker individually produced a sub-component with functionally no interaction with other Piece Workers, to Production Cells. In the Production Cells a newly formed team is responsible for producing the finished product as a team. In this case, the Thinking and Talking were structured events that spanned a period of six months. Every aspect of everyone’s job was going to change dramatically.
Tip of the day: If you attempt to implement training designed to modify behavior and do not take into account the process of MindSet change, you are doing training for training’s sake!
Here’s a truth about Human Behavior: MindSet drives behavior. If you want someone to change their behavior, you need to make sure they change their MindSet first.
Let me ask you a question, “Why do you train people?” Is it one, because you don’t have anything better to do with them? Is it two, for fun? Or is it three, because you want them to do things differently, that is, to change their behavior? I’ll bet you answered three.
New topic: Why does so much training fail? You see a clear need for people to do things differently. You develop (or purchase) superior training that gives them every little step-by-step behavior they need to change and do a great job of delivering the training. Yet, when the training is over, no one does things differently, no one changes their behavior.
Think back to some training you either got or gave that failed. Was MindSet addressed either before or in that training? Bet not.
Here’s the good news! The process of MindSet change is a very straight forward, three step process. The three steps are: Thinking, Talking, Doing. That’s all there is to it. There’s no magic. There’s nothing obscure or hard to master. So, let’s look at the process of MindSet change, Thinking, Talking, Doing, in order.
One of the main reasons training fails is the learner’s MindSet can not accept it. Unless and until people start to Think about the training and its impact on them, their MindSet often can’t accept the “need” for the training. Whenever training is implemented, especially if the people are not frequently trained and / or are not overtly told what the purpose of the training is all about, they may assume the training is sponsored by some failure on their part. When this happens the training will be ineffective, not might be ineffective, will be!
If people don’t think about a behavior change, they perceive no need to change their behavior. If people do not change their MindSet they will not change their behavior. This lack of MindSet change is why people resist changing their behavior, no matter how good the training is.
Next time we’ll look at the Talking step in the process of MindSet change.
Tip of the day: Without addressing MindSet, training becomes training for training’s sake!
All other things being equal, the behavior you measure is the behavior you get. A well thought out, properly designed Measurement System is a key to an efficient, effective Performance System.
It is Measurement that ties the Performance System together. To some, this is not intuitively obvious. So, let me explain. In Performance System Analysis (PSA) we have an Opportunity to Perform. The Opportunity to Perform defines the job, its setting, required resources, physical environment and workflow. Part of the Opportunity to Perform is a clear definition of what doing the job right looks like, or as we call it in PSA, the Desired Accomplishment. Part of that clear definition is a Measurement System.
To develop a Measurement System we:
- Determine the area of measurement which defines the desired parameters of performance for each Accomplishment. The areas of measurement are typically defined as quality, quantity, rate, completeness, timeliness, accuracy and/or cost. The area of measurement can be looked upon as a scale.
- Identify a specific measure for each area of measurement, the specific indicators or ratios that you will use to determine how well the Accomplishment is being performed. The specific measure can be looked upon as the part of the scale that is used.
- Identify specific standards or levels of performance for each measure. The standard can be looked upon as the desired point on the scale. It is the target, often with an acceptable range of performance, for which we are shooting.
Where possible the Performer should receive the output of the Measurement system as FeedBack in real time. (Click image to enlarge)
A superior Measurement system lets the Performer know, in real time, how well the Accomplishment is being achieved and give the Performer the information he or she needs to get the Accomplishment back on target should it “wander off”. By being part of the Opportunity to Perform and by providing real time FeedBack, the Measurement System “ties the Performance System together”.
So far we’ve looked at the Status Assessment (SA) steps Identify Issues and Identify Manageable Elements and Set Priority. We’ll continue our example of a SA done by a Line Pair Leader at Pharmco, a manufacturer of ethical drugs. This Line Pair Leader works in the pill bottling department.
After we have Set Priority, it is logical to use the SA step Determine Approach. Some elements, as we have seen, are complex; the right action to take may not be self-evident. The choice we make of actions to take will either be appropriate or it will waste time, money and energy. For complex elements, we need more iformation. We need to gather, sort, organize and evaluate our information before we can select the appropriate action. In short, we often need tactical tools which, we call Tactical Tools for Leaders (TTL).
Below is a very quick overview of some of our TTL analytic processes. Some of the tools below we have already discussed in the Learning 4 Performance news letter. The ones we have not yet discussed will be addressed in future Learning 4 Performance news letters.
To address a Deviation we use Deviation Analysis.
When we need to choose the “best” course of action we use Choice Analysis.
To protect an action or plan we use Plan Implementation Analysis.
To determine priorities we use Status Assessment.
To select the proper way to involve people we use Mastering Involvement.
To manage an “event” or plan we use Project Management.
To address a human performance issue we use Performance System Analysis.
In addition there are many other types of analysis. SPC, Design of Experiments and Root Cause Failure Analysis are examples.
If the Issue is a task that does not require analysis then just DO IT.
So, let’s look at the Determine Approach information from our example.
Next time we’ll loon at the SA step Plan Participation.
3 on, 9 off, 3 on, 5 off, 1 on, 3 off, 1 on, 5 off,
3 on, 9 off, 3 on, 5 off, 1 on, 3 off, 1 on, 5 off,