Manufacturing operations can be very complex. Especially in situations where performance is low and many changes are in flux. What was being done yesterday isn’t exactly what we are doing today. How we did something yesterday isn’t exactly how we are doing it today. And both may change, yet again, tomorrow. But, the reality is that if we want different results we are going to have to do things differently. We can’t keep doing things the same way we did before. Now, I definitely realize that all of us fully understand this and have probably stated it in some way many times recently.
Leading our teams toward victory requires, at minimum, 3 critical elements: What, How, and Why
In order for us to be successful it is our jobs to communicate:
- What needs to be done. What is the mission. And what is the mission within the mission. I think we all understand the overarching mission – For the business to be effective. Within that mission/goal is to deliver product with excellent quality, on time, and under budget. Three different but connected missions/goals within the mission/goal. And if we gave it some thought we can quickly break down each of those missions/goals to the lower level missions/goals that facilitate their accomplishment.
- How it needs to be done. Of course this is where our experience and expertise has to be transferred downstream with clarity so that those who will actually execute the actions to accomplish each mission/goal and each sub-mission/goal and so on. This is also where we must engage the team to enable and activate their individual experiences and skills to help the whole be even more effective and achieve the missions/goals more quickly and thoroughly.
- WHY it needs to be done. This is perhaps the MOST critical element that makes success possible. Unfortunately, it is also the most often understated and under-communicated element. Often we naturally assume that people understand why. But, unfortunately, it is not a clearly understood why. And many times it is completely mis-understood.