In 2003, when Nidec bought Sankyo Seiki Manufacturing, an industrial robot maker based in the foothills of the Japanese Alps, the company was headed for a $280 million loss, its third bad year in a row. Twelve months after the acquisition closed, it had $178 million in profit. “The same people who were losing billions of yen — these same managers, same workers — they learned how to make money ….” OK, Ready For Work Again!!!, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 20, 2015.
In the last eleven months, my customer told me, he had gotten better service from my organization than he had over the previous eleven years. I had replaced the director who had ran the IT organization for the past eleven years, but had not replaced anyone else. Before we made this change, everyone was sure that the entire organization would have to be purged and replaced with people who were more competent, better organized and more innovative. Instead, when we put it under new management, the people who were already there began to excel.
Many struggling organizations are just a small step away from becoming exceptional organizations. Yes, it often includes a renewed intensity at getting the job done, but I’ve found that when we’ve removed the influences that pulled an organization down, we didn’t have to crack the whip to get people going again. They simply did it on their own and brought their “A” game that many outside folks didn’t think they had. People, I learned, really wanted to do a good job once they were finally allowed to do it.
For more see The Leap to Excellence Is Shorter Than We Think
What key influences are holding back your project team and what are you doing to eliminate them?