Auckland Leisure – Shingo Update

Early April saw 16 participants for our Discover Shingo Awareness seminar, kindly hosted by Auckland Leisure and presented expertly by S A Partners.

Our Shingo training is brought to our clients as we are a fully affiliated to the Shingo Institute

The Shingo Training Discover Excellence programme is a foundational, two day workshop that introduces the Shingo Guiding Principles and the Three Insights to Enterprise Excellence. It is designed to raise awareness amongst Leaders and Managers on how Enterprise Excellence can benefit their organisation.

The course is a blend of expert input, discussion and best practice learning combined with real time application of learning via “Go and See” assessments.

On this occasion we were hosted at West Wave Recreation and Leisure Centre which gave the participants the opportunity to apply the learning first hand, to see how Shingo principles drive behaviour throughout the entire organisation to deliver world class results.

At the end of this Shingo workshop participants were be able to:

  • Understand the principles of enterprise excellence.
  • Learn the key insights of ideal behaviours.
  • Understand the relationship between behaviours, systems and principles.
  • Learn how systems and behaviours drive results.
  • Learn how KBI’s drive KPI’s and how this leads to excellent results.
  • Use “Go and See” to understand the practical application of the Shingo Guiding Principles.

Many thanks to Chris for the opportunity to get to grips with Shingo and we look forward to next time and further Shingo insights on your next visits.

Suggestion Scheme Goes Sour

We launched a factory suggestion scheme for the first time just over a year ago in tandem with our continuous improvement programme. It began with a honeymoon period: ideas flooded in and most were of such high quality that we implemented them straight away. However, in recent months the suggestion scheme has mutated into a Pandora’s box.

Our entire workforce has been targeted through KPIs to submit at least one suggestion a month and have three ideas implemented a year. The idea must either save time, save money, add value to customers or reduce waste from our manufacturing process.

During the early days there was a discernible buzz on the shopfloor about taking part. You used to hear operators teasing their colleagues about ‘only being able to come up with a £1,000 saving’ or submitting ‘just the one idea’ this month. As a management team we tapped into this competitive spirit and decided to reward the person who came up with the best idea with a £500 prize  and a week away in the director’s holiday apartment in the South of France.

The suggestions rolled in and helped us reduce defects, cut lead times and generally improve the business. Then we hit an iceberg. We started to find that the best ideas were all coming from the same dozen or so employees. Everybody else’s suggestions, after an encouraging start, began to grow more obscure and increasingly pernicious.

For example, last month, we were graced with: ‘invest in better quality coffee and biscuits at the canteen’ and ‘give us quilted toilet paper in the gents’. But the management team decided to turn the other cheek as we have a rule that we only provide feedback on the successful suggestions.

Then, to make matters worse, there was a fracas on the factory floor last week after one employee accused another of ‘stealing his idea and getting the reward for it’. Why do you think things have gone so badly wrong for us? Is there anything we can do to get the whole factory team back on track?

How would you handle this? Kevin Eyre gives his view…

Do we really need to incentivise people to be creative? What is it about organisational life that leads otherwise sane people to believe that the best way to get new and improved ideas out of people is to reward them for it? Why did we forget about the ‘intrinsic’ motivation that is so closely associated with creativity – a reward in itself?

Suggestion schemes serve a purpose. In particular, they can introduce the idea of looking systematically for improvement. But how often is it that we hear of the schemes becoming bureaucratic, contentious and lacking in vitality?

Answer… it’s pretty often. So the case here is not unusual. What should you do?

First, build from the best of what you have created. Remind employees not of the strength of the scheme, but of the worth of their ideas, of their imaginations and desire to want to see improvement happen. Create a gallery or roadshow of the best and the worst of the last two years, from small improvements to big ones; the crazy ideas that turned out to be great and the plausible ideas that didn’t really work, but from which much learning was had.

Secondly, acknowledge that the life of the current scheme has probably run its course and invite ideas on how to replace it. Make this formal. Consider a small working party of previously strong and weak contributors. Allow feedback to the management team after a month.

Thirdly, think hard about what you are trying to reward. The evidence says that effort is a more reliable indicator of longer term performance than immediate excellence. Effort enables learning, the cycle of success and failure. How do you recognise and reward this? Not perhaps the ‘best’ ideas, but the most ideas?

Fourthly, and irrespective of the strength of response to item three, work out how to build improvement systems into the work that people do rather than making it a bolt-on. Real-time problem solving is the answer here; Jidoka and all that that implies. Sustainable improvement only really comes this way. When it’s oneoff big shot stuff, it seldom lasts longer than management ‘bribery and cajoling’ will allow.

As for the shopfloor fracas, there is learning here for the management team. Isn’t this behaviour a perfectly rational response to the conditions created by management? If you set up a competition then people compete; if people compete, there are winners and losers and sometimes losers cheat. Creativity functions best in a climate of collaboration, not competition.

Being World Class & Angry Frank the boss

Frank Moreton Operations Director of PMT pressings,  addresses B shift. “OK boys gather around we are going to be a World Class Company, we will do this by introducing tools and techniques such as SMED, OEE, and TPM.”

Loopy and Gez from B shift, “What is he talking about Gez?”

“I think he is going to build a SHED Loopy”

“What do we need a SHED for then Gez?”

“Put all his tools in I expect Loopy, the boys on A shift have nicked all the spanners and allen keys already!”

“Ask him why Gez go on, it’s great when Frankie loses it”

“Ok then, Frank why do we need a new SHED then?”

Frank replies

“It’s not a SHED Gez, I am talking about SMED single minute exchange of dies very popular in Japan.”

Loopy pipes up

“Single minute exchange of Dai’s… will take more than a minute to get Dai out of the canteen, he won’t budge when he starts one of his pies.”

“Not Dai’s Loopy I am talking about die’s as in press tools” Frank replies.

Gez chips in “A minute to change a tool –never going to happen, Ivor won’t have rolled his first ciggy by that time, and besides we have to find him and prise him off the daily mirror.”

“It’s all about co-ordinating our activities working in parallel and not series, analysing our internal and external activities, working as a team- we will be the Harlem Globe trotters of the changeover world. We will do this to fight off the threat from Poland, Turkey and Even China.” Frank proudly states.

Gez turns to loopy and says,” He has completely lost it, I think we are now going to build a Shed so Ivor and Dai can play one minute  basketball and then go and take on the rest of the world in some crazy tournament.”

Loopy nods, “another ‘flash in the pan’ scheme, that reminds me, what are they cooking in the canteen today?”

“Well its Thursday real proper Welsh grub, curry. Anita told me it’s going to be an extra hot one this time so we’d better get the loo’s ready! Gez replies

“Loopy, Gez will you just concentrate,  these tools and techniques will save us, this time next year we will be GEMBA walking, using DAMIC maybe some of us will be carrying out a design of experiments ….DOE for short” Frank shouts

“Experiments? did them in school Frank, hated chemistry, Gez here set fire to Mr Rich with a Bunsen Burner” Loopy responds

“Arghhhh why do I bother, I attend a fancy course run by a bunch of smart arsed consultants, read a fancy book written by some stuck up professor go out on a limb to involve everybody at the point of activity, I’ve even cancelled curry today and asked Anita in the canteen to do us sushi instead. Thought it would get us in the mood for some Japanese thinking” Frank bellows

“Listen Frank you’ve gone too far now, I can handle basketball, shed’s and crazy experiments, but you’ve crossed the line by cancelling curry. I’m off to see Bonkers Brian the Union Rep” Gez bellows back

And off everyone slopes leaving Frank in front of his flipchart, with his pack of pens, post it notes and blue tack.

So mindless ranting’s again.

Too often change programmes are copied from other organisations. People copy tools and use too much jargon. Shingo tells us to concentrate on the WHY and not the HOW. Build systems to help people fix the WHAT and then upskill as appropriate with the right HOW’s at the right time.

I used to work for PMT pressings- we developed Welsh Class rather than World Class, we had a SHED programme-Single Hour Exchange of Dai’s, we banned all jargon and developed systems that gave us materials when we needed them, people who were skilled, machine and tools that ran at the right speed and sales that ensured we stayed in business. Making it simple is the hardest thing to do.

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