Overcome LEAN Six Sigma Resistance With WIIFM

Let’s face it … any change in any organization will meet with a certain amount of resistance and skepticism.

We are creatures of habit. However, when the change you are contemplating falls in to the realm of Process Improvement, there are unique challenges involved. Especially if you never learned the People Skills you need for smooth CPI Implementation.

LEAN is more than just the Technical Skill Set. In fact, sometimes the more technically qualified you are, the harder you may find LEAN to implement. WHY ?

LEAN Six Sigma does have a comprehensive set of technical tools with which you can approach any business process. You can spend months learning the various applications and nuances and, unfortunately, your data and compiling of statistics – the “Facts” does little to counter the resistance and skepticism of your Teams.

Success with LEAN Six Sigma implementation depends in large part on your People Skills.

– Your ability to quickly establish your credibility and create a Context of Trust and Respect

– To run effective meetings, keep the Team focused and on track

– To ask quality questions that keep the group engaged and involved

– Your ability to teach the team the value of Process Improvement and hand the process over to them

When you focus too heavily on the Technical side of LEAN, you can unintentionally get in the way of these People Skills tasks. And your Teams remain resistant and obstructive.

Here’s one People Skill’s Tool that will get you started on the Right Foot with a new Team.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

The first step is to shift your perspective to that of your Team Members.

– Why do they want to be on this team?

– How can they benefit from the improved Process?

In short, What’s In It For Me?

People will naturally take actions that result in a personal benefit. When you know “What’s In It For Me”, you can decide whether or not to participate. This means you actually need to “Sell” the Benefits of LEAN Six Sigma by making sure everyone knows “What’s In It For Me”.

Think about the benefits of a fully implemented LEAN project for a moment … the benefits to the Team members on the front line.

In most cases, they will get more done, in less time, without working harder AND can now take on the higher level job tasks that are more fulfilling. That is their WIIFM.

You can even involve the Team in clarifying the WIIFM by asking a few high quality questions in your first meeting. It could go like this.

“Let’s brainstorm for a second… when the workplace is organized and we have made the line improvements that are the focus of this project …

– How will your work day be different

– What will you be able to stop doing?

– What else will you be able to devote some time and attention to that you cannot now?

– How will all that feel?”

Taking some time to establish What’s in it for Them at the onset of the project is not in any LEAN Six Sigma training manual AND it is a vital People Skill for CPI Success.

Try this WIIFM approach and notice the difference it makes in your relationship with the Team.