Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Building a Lean Culture of Fun

"Immature: A word used by boring people to describe fun people."

Have you ever worked in an environment where it felt like fun was against the law? I'm sure most of us have. Conversely, have you ever worked in an environment where you couldn't wait to get to work, and people had fun while prospering almost every day? 

One of the biggest misconceptions is that culture change has to be a formal, long term process. In most cases, a poor culture is due simply to poor leadership.Culture change can be as simple as managers not taking themselves so seriously. Or by being less controlling. In previous blogs, I have explained how over and over, I have learned first hand that the real brainpower in organizations lives with the people who do the actual work every day. I have seen mind boggling problem solving and innovation demonstrated using A3 thinking from the MOST unexpected team members. Yet, in many companies, these same people would not even be asked to think!

Make two assumptions about the people that you have hired. They care and they're smart. (If you can't assume these two things, you shouldn't have hired them and you haven't developed them). TRUST people that they care about making their company better, and that they are smart enough to do this. Believe me, they are. Respect for People in The Toyota Production System means exactly that. When managers sabotage this trust by making people feel afraid to make mistakes.....the culture sucks.(I always think of mistakes as tuition paid in a LEArNing organization).

One of the major advantages of A3 thinking is people together more often thinking, problem solving and innovating. And laughing. Show me a company that laughs together, kid each other, and feel free to challenge each other, and I'll show you one smart, profitable company. Show me a company where people don't trust each other, or worse, don't talk to each other, and I'll show you a company where managers have their heels on people's throats, and a culture of fear.

3 comments:

  1. Another great blog. I love reading your blog first thing in the morning. It puts me in the right frame of mind.

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    1. Thank you so much for that William. That means so much. I will work hard not to screw that up! Have a great weekend.

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    2. Thank you so much for that William. That means so much. I will work hard not to screw that up! Have a great weekend.

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