If you don’t believe that management and culture make a difference in your company’s success, you are wrong. Let me give you an example from Toyota that I learned about from a recent podcast.
When Toyota was making their first moves to manufacturing in the US, they teamed up with GM. They formed NUMMI and needed a manufacturing facility. The choose the old GM Freemont plant, considered the worst workforce in the US automobile industry.
Before NUMMI, GM’s Freemont facility was in disarray. Quality was terrible, there were serious personnel problems, and chaos reigned. Workers even intentionally sabotaged the vehicles they worked on. The factory was ultimately shut down.
NUMMI re-hired most of the Freemont workers but made changes – BIG changes.
Seniority rules changed.
They focused on teamwork – the same uniforms for everyone and cafeterias served all levels of employees.
Emphasis on quantity changed to quality, and stopping the assembly line to correct an error became the right action.
Training, continual improvement, and consensus decision making became the norm.
In two years, Freemont’s production was as efficient at Toyota’s Japanese plants, and quality as measured by the number of defects was similar to Japan’s as well. All that was done with with what was once the worse workforce in the industry.
The lesson here? Culture and valuing the right things matter. How management leads the company is important. Leaders make a difference. Good leadership turned an entire manufacturing plant around by changing the style of management and culture.
If you have trouble with your team, have you thought about how the company’s management team may be contributing to the problem? We can help you. Contact us at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmatt/ or use the CONTACT US page.