We vs Me
It starts with culture.
I recently toured a company I hadn't visited for a number of years. I was blown away about how they had improved from my last visit.
This company is so far advanced in their Lean journey that they hold monthly tours to help "pay it forward" and learn more from feedback.
While I marveled over all of their improvements in production and information flow, and the ingenuity behind them, I tried to figure out the root cause. What could drive this kind of inspiration and desire to achieve as an organization?
Turns out the owner is a sharp businessman and a humble guy who realizes the path to continuous improvement is constant and part of the DNA of an organization.
The way to get there is to engage everyone in the journey toward improvement. It keeps things fun and avoids mundane days. If Lean thinking is expected then it becomes part of everyday conversations.
One definition of culture is "the way people agree to treat each other". Do people work for a common goal? Do they honor their promises to complete things? And ontime? Are they always looking for ways to do things better?
If not, then that is a cultural issue. Culture starts with the hiring process - making sure the right people get on the bus and have a way to be engaged.
This company has an image they use, "We vs Me."
They ask themselves if the decision they are making benefits the "We" or the "Me". What's best for the group vs easiest for the individual? Am I making a decision above the line or below the line? It’s even incorporated into their vernacular; you’ll often hear people say “Stay above the line”.