Like many people who get promoted into management, Brian Penzone didn’t have any experience leading a team of front-line workers on the manufacturing floor. But he knew one thing:
“I wanted to manage people the way that I would want to be managed.”
Sounds obvious, but it is so rarely done.
Brian Penzone learned how to stop fighting fires, get advice from the front lines, and focus on continuous quality improvement.
He’s happier, his staff are happier, processes are more efficient, and quality has improved, so customers are happier.
In a recent interview he discussed how he made the change, how he keeps it going, and how it benefits his company, Lake Shore Cryotronics.
Keys To Successful Change Management for Quality Improvement
A few tips from Brian Penzone:
- Treat your staff as adults: “the people who know best what needs to be changed are the people who do it every day.“
- Ask why things are done a specific way. It may turn out that the reason is long gone, and a much more efficient process is now possible.
- Look for a few early quick wins. When a staff member pointed out that having a flashlight to work more effectively in a dark space would be a good idea, the solution was implemented immediately with a quick run across the street to a hardware store. Seems like a “duh… obviously”, but people were so used to working in the dark that it took some rethinking to realize that there was a better way.
- Use metrics and data both to discover areas for improvement and to measure results.
This is a version of an article that first appeared on the Frank Reactions website. To hear the interview with Brian Penzone or download a transcript of it, visit http://frankreactions.com/15 or find the Frank Reactions podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.