TLS Continuum: Victoria, Sorry we can't go back to Kansas

Over the past several weeks I have talked about change and by this I mean real change. It is a change that has rocked the very essence of the organization that you work for. It is change that has created a new corporate normal characterized by a new corporate culture unlike anything you have experienced before. What I hear quite often is that “Oh well, if it does not work we can always go back to the old ways. Sorry Victoria if you are truly engaged in this change initiatives you can’t go back there because back there does not exist anymore. And if you could go back to those days you are going back to what got you here today. Going back there means the corporate waste is piling up. Going back there means the problems that were dragging the organization down are going to only reappear.

The other side of the coin is that if you have truly bought into this new corporate normal, then your philosophy now tells you that we are the best at what we do for the moment and we have the metrics that clearly demonstrates that you have a new picture of the world. The guiding question becomes what must we do to put us in that frame of mind? What is the characteristic of this new normal?

 Tenants of the new normal

  1. 1.     Everyone from top management to the janitor is committed to eliminating as much waste as possible.

Everyone within the organization has a role in this effort. When you see something that is not quiet right we

               don’t let it just fester. As valuable human capital assets of the firm we have the power to take action to correct

               the problems as we find them.

  1. 2.     The organization as a whole takes pride in ownership of the processes

Everyone understands that when we have problems, the problem is in the process. Whether you are in the corner office or down on the office floor. However those problems do not find resolution in committees. They find resolution when the organization and its cross-functional teams work to find viable solutions that they can initiate with management blessing to resolve the issues.

  1. 3.     The concentration is not so much centered on the solution but rather on how we resolve the problems

All too often organizations practice a policy that you can do whatever it takes to resolve issues within the organization as long as its works. The management tends to judge performance based on how well you do not so much on failures. Toyota has taught us it s not so much about the results as much as it is how you tried to resolve the issue.

  1. 4.     The new solutions have changed the workplace dynamic

As managers you tend to think you understand the workplace dynamic. You tell those who are in your departments that this is the way we do things or else. But along comes this thing we call change and the dynamic changes. We complain about employee engagement but then we try and squash it. The new workplace dynamic is created out of that heightened employee engagement. You can not cry foul because there is no engagement and then complain when your human capital assets get it and strive to get involved.

  1. 5.     Managers now coach rather than control

The dynamic I talked about above also means management’s role has changed. You become teachers, mentors and coaches. It is your purpose to assist your human capital assets to achieve the goals that the organization has set. You as a manager have the responsibility to ensure that every one in the organization can achieve the very best that they can.

  1. 6.     In general employee engagement is increased

As an organization, if you follow the items listed above you will see an increase in engagement. As an organization you will find human capital assets who once again look forward to coming to work. You will find an increase in productivity as each and every employee is not there just to get a paycheck, they believe in the vitality of the organization and want to be part of that new effort.

So Victoria welcome to the new normal. I am truly sorry that you can’t go back to Kansas because the Kansas that you knew is there in name, but it is not the Kansas you knew. It is a new culture and a new day within your organization. A new culture and a new day, which will carry you to new heights, new successes and a higher level of productivity then you have seen in a long time.

Enjoy the change. Enjoy the new culture. Equally important look for the next mountain to climb taking you even higher in the changing organization.

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