For Change Sake, Meet People Where They Are

10377948294_f4ccc95448_z

I was contacted by a manufacturing company in a world of hurt. The short version: the client had purchased an ERP system with the hope that business execution would improve. It didn’t. There were no processes in place to be integrated with the new tool. No one used it. The ERP investment was yielding no business benefit.

The client had an open stockroom and did not want to build a cage around it. When it came time for process roll-out, I had to share the idea of “transacting inventory” to account for its consumption by individual job. I knew “transacting inventory” would never resonate with this team so I had to invent a sticky way of making the point.

As I drove by a Wal-Mart, I discovered a solution to my problem:

  • Wal-Mart is like a big open stock room
  • If you don’t pay (transact the merchandise) at the register on your way out the door, it’s shoplifting.
  • And, for my client, if they didn’t stop by the “register” to charge off the parts to the job, that, too, would be considered shoplifting.

The notion of “shoplifting” became the key to my training and to changing the business practices and culture around ERP adoption. Afterall, who would want to be accused of shoplifting?

This idea stuck. When someone would come out of the stockroom with one or more parts, the other people on the shop floor would point at the person and ask if they shoplifted the parts. This became a big part of driving inventory accuracy.

Without this “shoplifting” idea, I doubt we would have gotten the adoption we needed. The company had a 35-year history of not transacting inventory–it was like being in the wild, wild West. Yet, I helped my client cross this uncrossable chasm in a matter of minutes.

The lesson: meet people where they are, not where you wish they are, if you want them to adopt change their world. It’s okay to make it fun sometimes, too.

 Photo Credit: Alison Christine, Flickr.com

Thought for the week:

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn
__
What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

Share

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s