Is No 'Easy Rider'
With A Cause
Change Is No Change At All
Balance Sheet: Hidden Costs of Open Book Management
John Runyan Responds
As I consider your question, I am touched by the pain,
fear, uncertainty and stress generated by this imminent decision that could
close down the jobs of the workers you support and the quality of life in
your community. Far too many people in far too many businesses and communities
face this dilemma through little or no fault of their own. These situations
call for new, even radical, thinking and acting on all sides.
o Partner immediately with managers in a fast-track effort to make all workers "business literate" so that they can understand the rationale for and join actively in all of the initiatives that follow.
o Work closely with managers to vastly reduce the cycle time for any and all business decision-making, product innovations and process improvements. This may involve everything from innovative scheduling to creative problem-solving to re-languaging your contract.
o Move to train and allow workers to work in a variety of jobs as determined by ever-shifting business needs.
o Create joint task groups to monitor worker/manager cooperation and to rapidly resolve all interpersonal and inter-group conflicts that would slow implementation of process changes needed to cut costs.
o Do the necessary peer group inviting, educating, persuading and self-monitoring to ensure that all workers who want to stay in this organization will join fully in these initiatives.
o Place your most innovative and creative workers with comparably talented managers in small groups aimed at brainstorming new products and services that could add revenue.
o Publicize these cooperative efforts as a powerful way
to demonstrate and market the progressiveness and quality of the business
- thereby building customer interest and commitment.
o Plant managers putting their business case for going or staying - all relevant facts, figures, and implications - on the table for all of the newly "business literate" workers to see.
o Workers agreeing to review, digest and make meaning
o Managers committing some certain time period for themselves and the business' workers to strive whole-heartedly toward a set of decisions and actions that would lead to cost-savings and revenue generation.
o Workers and managers co-sponsoring one or more future search sessions (using the cutting edge technologies of "whole systems in the room" interventions to do the joint thinking, talking and coming to agreement necessary to launch various specific initiatives.
While these are only some of the ingredients necessary
to build this crucial partnership, together they would go a long way toward
generating a climate and a set of outcomes that could sustain your plant
in its current location.