Monday, April 23, 2012

A3 turns Employees into Owners!

The last couple blogs have been about A3 as a vehicle to build a culture of continuous improvement throughout your business. You don't want CI to be thought of as a "special event" that generates to do lists that never get done. Without a change in mindset, CI will always be something that gets done when we have time! I've already talked about A3 as a way to leverage your diversity (tapping into everyone's brainpower). In this blog, I will discuss how we used A3 to help create a culture of ownership. 

Can we agree that all of the things you pay for that you cannot invoice come out of your profit? Storing, moving, transporting, bending, walking, waiting, twisting, copying, filing, etc.? We can only invoice value-added stuff. Many of the 8 wastes in our processes (which are the non-value added, "non-invoicable" things, are well known by your employees. The experts of your company processes KNOW what should be "fixed". Have you ever heard someone say, "if I owned this company, the first thing I'd do is......". A3 is a way for people to take real ownership of their own processes. It provides a vehicle for people to do the "first thing". And the second, and the third, etc. Owners don't complain. Owners aren't "victims" who "just work here". Owners don't drop suggestions in their own suggestion boxes. Good owners see problems, and, to the best of their ability, they come to an understanding and agreement with others on what the "current condition" is, determine the route cause of why it exists, and implement countermeasures that lead to a better, brighter target condition. Unfortunately, in many companies, this is all done using only one brain. A3 is ownership with the consensus of between 3 and 5 brains. A3 teams have a leader who is NOT a President or CEO or Vice President. The leader is a person who owns the process being improved. A3 gives that owner the tool to present and implement based on a BUSINESS case using Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. In other words, if you don't like it, fix it!! And I will help you do that. 

Have you ever heard "don't bring me a problem without a possible solution? That's the spirit of A3. Take it from me, it is FUN to work with an entire population of owners. And it is DEFINITELY NOT FUN working in a population of I just work heres!!!!    

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