In traditional organizations the role of management is to design systems to create and deliver value to customers and shareholders. Unfortunately, however, too many of these organizations fail to recognize that this is a never-ending task resulted into an imperative to constantly change management systems.
Despite the change imperative, most enterprises resist change until there are obvious signs that current systems are failing one or more stakeholder groups. Perhaps declining market share makes it clear that your products or services are not as competitive as they once were. Customers may remain loyal, but complaints have reached epidemic proportions. Or share price, the perceived market value of your business, may be trending ominously downward.
Traditional organizations watch for such signs and react to them. Change occurs, as it must, but it does so in an atmosphere of crisis and confusion. Substantial loss may result before the needed redesign is complete. People may lose their jobs or even their careers. Many organizations that employ these reactionary tactics don’t survive the shock. The strength of their competitors lies primarily in their ability to adapt since the ability to change is an organization’s main competitive advantage. The ability to respond to customer demand, whether that demand is stagnant or dynamic, is a key focus of Six Sigma projects.
Applied at a process level, the Lean principles deployed within these projects stress reduced inventories with decreased cycle times to quickly satisfy shifts in customer demand. As an organizational strategy, these principles result in agile organizations that invest in adaptability rather than volume efficiencies. Resources are deployed only when needed, so they can be constantly refocused to meet the current customer value definitions.
Direct Improvement Ltd work with organisations to proactively embrace change by explicitly incorporating change into their management systems resulted into a change in behavior, as well as the more obvious organizational effectiveness and efficiencies.