A recent article on change management in Industry Week (Lean Persuasion) and a subsequent post at Be Excellent (Introducing Change into your Organization) discuss Lean Expert Jamie Flinchbaugh’s suggestions on how to introduce Lean, or other initiatives, to your organization.
The base supposition that employees are resistant to change may be flawed. Actually, most people are naturally resistant to change when the change is made to them, not by them. A key element for successful change is to include people in the process.
Our experience with changing processes (i.e. Lean), altering the workplace and work practices, or changing attitudes and behaviors, has shown that success is primarily dependent upon employee engagement. When people have been included as part of the process that identifies the need for change and are involved in selecting and implementing the necessary actions, they are supportive and many times passionate about change. In turn, they are the best change agents for others.
Planning, communication and ensuring staff are all important. Employee engagement is critical.