Dec 16 2013
He got the map upside down | Bill Waddell
See on Scoop.it – lean manufacturing
“…, at Toyota and at lean companies using visual controls effectively, it [the organization chart] actually looks like this…”
The first time I saw an organization chart with the plant manager at the bottom and the workers on top was in an auto parts factory in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, back in 2001, before that city became so notoriously dangerous.
The chart had a photograph next to each name, and it was not a gimmick. The plant was not perfect in any way, but the plant manager wore an overall to the floor every morning to make his rounds, and the operators knew him.
The employment pattern in the maquiladora plants near the US border was similar to the one I saw shortly thereafter in the Pearl River Delta area of China: girls from the countryside came to work in the plants for a couple of years, saved money, and went home.
The work was tough and tedious, but the plant manager did his utmost to provide the best working conditions he could, and the workers knew it. You could tell from the way they were looking at him.
The employee turnover rate at this plant was 11%/year, compared to about 40% for the other maquiladoras in the neighborhood.
See on www.idatix.com
December 17, 2013 @ 3:41 am
Besides helping to reduce turnover and improve employee satisfaction (which are good goals)…the real strength of this model is that it aligns the organization to the Voice of the Customer (VOC). As the workers are the ones actually doing the work are closer to the customer (as they are the last one to assemble and touch the product) than the supervisors and managers. It aligns the supervisors and managers mindset and actions to one of support for the workers efforts to ensure they have everything they need to create the best product for the customer and to be as effective and efficient as possible for the company. As a leader my whole leadership style changed once I understood the power of the upside down org chart.
December 17, 2013 @ 6:46 am
I am puzzled by your statement that workers are close to the customer. They are close to the product, but they strike me as being as far removed from the customer as the attendants in the Titanic’s boiler room who shoveled coal into the furnaces were from the passengers in the 1st-class dining room.