How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI. How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI. case study. John Shook. Save; Share. Manageris recommande l’article How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI , MIT Sloan Management Review, “What my NUMMI experience taught me that was so powerful was that the way to change culture is not to first change how people think, but.
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This is a summary of the full article. To enjoy the full article sign increate an accountor buy this article. As someone who was there at its launch and witnessed a striking story of phenomenal company culture reinvention, I am often asked: Toyota hired me in late to work on the Toyota side of its new venture with GM. All of this was just happening. The agreement with the United Auto Workers union was yet to be signed.
It was just a dream. Why was the joint venture attempted? It wanted to put an idle plant and work force back on line. On the other side of the fence, Toyota faced pressure to produce vehicles in the United States. It was already trailing Honda Motor Co. Toyota could have just chosen to go it alone, which would have been quicker and simpler.
What better way than to get started with an existing plant Fremontand with a partner helping it navigate unfamiliar waters? Before I could help Toyota teach anything to GM or to anyone else, it had to teach me first. I worked on all the major processes of car assembly. The work force in those days had a horrible reputation, frequently going out on strike sometimes wildcat strikesfiling grievance after grievance and even sabotaging quality.
And, oh yes, the plant had produced some of the worst quality in the GM system. Remember, this was the early s. Toyota had many concerns about transplanting perhaps the most important aspect of its production system — its way of cultivating employee involvement — into a workplace as poor as Fremont.
How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI
Toyota wondered how workers with such a bad reputation could support it in building in quality. How would they support the concept and practice of teamwork? Many problems did crop up, but they were ultimately overcome. All with the exact same workers, including the old troublemakers. Hoe only thing that changed was the production and management system — and, somehow, the culture. What did you do that changed such a troublesome work force into an excellent nnummi Get semi-monthly updates on how global companies are managing in a changing world.
And, interestingly, there is no one who is more skeptical than Schein about claims of easily making wholesale changes in corporate cultures. Trying too capture what I had learned of how the culture was changed at NUMMI, I developed a simple pyramid model that I later found form was almost the same as a model Schein had created much earlier. The typical Hoow approach to organizational change is to start by trying to get everyone to think the right way.
This causes their values and attitudes to change, which, in turn, leads them naturally to start doing the right things. What my NUMMI experience taught me that was so powerful was that the way to change culture is not to first change how people think, but instead to start by changing how people behave — what they do. The culture will change as a result. The best cyange of how the culture was changed at NUMMI is the famous stop-the-line — or andon — system on the assembly line.
One of the decisions to be made in establishing production at the joint venture was whether to install the stop-the-line system. For Toyota, of course, that was no decision at all — hcange was a given. Part of doing their job is finding problems and making improvements.
If we as management want people to be successful, to find problems and to make improvements, we have the obligation to provide the means to do so.
HOW TO CHANGE A CULTURE LESSONS FROM NUMMI PDF
His team leader will come to provide assistance within his job cycleor the time available to complete his assigned responsibilities. That translates into a promise from management to the work force: But Toyota learned that that is what it takes to enable workers to build in quality and to be engaged in problem solving and making improvements.
Given the opportunity — and challenge — of building in quality, the culturs NUMMI work force could not have been more enthusiastic about the opportunity to show that it could produce quality as well as any work force in the world.
Quality, support, ownership — these things were integrated within the design of numji job.
In early at an assembly plant on the outskirts of Detroit, I observed a worker make a major mistake. A regular automated process was down for the day, so the worker was making do with a work-around.
And with the work-around, he managed to attach the wrong part on a car. He quickly realized lesons mistake, but by then the car had already moved on, out of his work station. There was nothing frim the worker could easily do to correct his mistake!
There was nothing at all that he could do. But for that worker on the Big Three assembly line, there was, practically speaking, nothing he could do about the mistake he had just made.
No rope to pull. No team leader nearby to call. A red button was located about 30 paces away.
He could walk over and push that button, which would immediately shut down the entire line. So he did nothing.
To this day, no one knows what happened there except that worker and me. What changed the culture was giving employees the means by which they could successfully do their jobs. It was communicating clearly to employees what their jobs were and providing the training and tools to enable them to perform those jobs successfully.
The stop-the-line andon process is just one example of acting the way to thinking, but it is a good one for two reasons. First, it deals with how people do their work right now. For each of us, every day, every moment, work comes at us. How are we equipped to respond?
What is our attitude toward them? How do we think about them? What do we do when we find them? What do we do when someone else finds and exposes one? The andon process is about building in quality by exposing problems. Sometimes cklture problems are of our own making. Exposing them can be a very personal and threatening matter.
Every person in a supervisory capacity, including hourly team leaders, visited Toyota City for two or more weeks of training crom the Takaoka plant. The training included long hours of lectures but, most importantly, practical on-the-job training in which they worked alongside their counterparts to learn what was to be their job back in California.
At the end of each training tour, we asked the trainees what they would most want to take back with them to Fremont of all they had seen at Lessona. Their answer was invariably the same: And if problems repeated or if the same individual repeated the same mistake, individuals would be called out — loud and clear.
And seeing those problems is the crux of the job of the manager. The famous tools of the Toyota Production System are all designed around making it easy to see problems, easy to solve problems, and easy chage learn from mistakes.
Making elssons easy to learn from mistakes means changing our attitude toward them. That is the lean cultural shift. How to Change a Culture: In fact, according to Toyota manager John Shook in an MIT Sloan Management Review article, culture change was not the goal, but the natural by-product of how people were treated and a new […].
Krafcik experienced the […]. I think, the best way the people can change is, first, changing the behavior, then, as a result, changing the culture.
Learning for Change: the NUMMI Experience
This is a universal method of learning. Apparently, is simple, but cultuee very complex and difficult issue. Almost all themes realated with quality need a thinking change. You cultire sign in to post a comment. Image courtesy of Flickr user smi23le. The Leading Question How can managers change the culture of their organization?