jeudi 1 mars 2012

The impact on company performance by changing our assumption about people.

Freedom Inc., the book of Isaac Getz and Brian M. Carney, gives us a perspective on enterprises that have decided to free their employees.

A lot of factories are today always managed through Taylor methods. JF Zorbist (FAVI see below) called those companies the “How companies” also called hierarchical, bureaucratic or command-control companies. The authors challenge us by asking the questions : Are those companies managed for the three percents ?

The purpose of Taylor was also to increase performance, but performance expressed as productivity. In his scientific Method, Taylor has specialized supervision, has standardized tools and work methods, has created a management planning function, has rewarded efficiency (doing the things right and fast) and has broken tasks into smaller and smaller tasks,…Scientific management works. But the basic assumption of Scientific Management was that employees were not highly educated, compliant to do exactly what they were told and so just able to perform the simplest tasks. So, this worked. But does it really work today and if "Yes" at what cost to our employees, at what costs to adapt to new demand variety, at what costs to change the way we do the service,…

Are we in the same context than in the industrial revolution ? I don’t think so. Are those scientific management principles adapted to serve our customers, to create joy in work and make our organization agile to adapt to new opportunities ? I do not think so

So are our companies managed for the 3 percents ? What will happen to 97 % of our collaborators ?

A lot of us has learned that Toyota Success is based on a fundamental assumption about people : people’s willingness to do a good job and to learn. Deming has demonstrated that 95% of organizational problems are caused by the company’s operational systems and merely 5% caused by its people. Changing system conditions and thinking behind, it is the best way to achieve sustainable improvements

So...? and if we started before to think about systems, lean,… to challenge our assumption about people ?

Isaac Getz and Brian M. Carney invite us to discover enterprises like FAVI, Harley Davidson, Oticon,... The leaders of those companies were sincerely convinced that all their collaborators are intrinsically equal …Is the relationship between employee freedom and company performance is due to” hazard”  ? I do not think so.

To conclude as I. Getz :  “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” - Socrates

The link to FAVI :

The link to the blog of Freedom Inc. :

The link to the book :

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All content is my opinion and nothing should be interpreted as being endorsed by my employer