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TLS Continuum: But I still Don’t see the Correlation

Over the course of this series of blog posts, and most recently the last couple of weeks, we have stressed that the TLS Continuum requires the creation of a new normal in the organization. It calls for a new form of corporate culture. But where is the correlation between the TLS Continuum, Change management and the New Normal?

In order to answer that question we need to backtrack to the beginning of the journey if you will. Your organization has been in existence for decades, however you are finding that your systems are creating more and more demands from your customers around unfilled orders or incorrectly filled orders. You don’t understand this change because you have been doing things the way you have always done them. It has served you well for these many years. But the global market has changed and you failed to change with the market. So now you are confronted with a major decision- do you keep doing what you have been doing and continue to suffer from problems or do you make some dramatic changes to the organization and the way you do business?

It is the creation of the new normal and managing the change process that is the crux of the TLS Continuum. We know you have a problem. We have begun the process of applying the scientific method to that problem using the steps of the TLS Continuum. We began by using the critical thinking skills of the Theory of Constraints to identify the obstacles or the conditions, which are generating the problem.

Once we have identified the obstacle we then use the lean toolbox to remove the obstacle to allow for free flow of the process to the point that the current obstacle is removed. It is at this point that change management comes into play, as we need to be careful of the way the elimination process works. We want to resolve the most critical obstacles not every single one in the system.

Finally we use the six sigma toolbox to create the standard work so that the process can continue to flow smoothly as the customer orders come into the organization. We also want to insure that any variation in the process is removed. The design is that every time we perform this process or any process, we do it exactly the same way each and every time. It is the creation of the new normal that represents the new normal. It is the development of a changed process that creates the new normal.

But I still don’t see the correlation you say? Try this alternate view if you will. We have a three-legged stool in front of us.

Leg one is the TLS Continuum representing the process we used to resolve the issue. How did we a) discover the problem and b) how did we go about resolving the issue and ensuring that we have removed the problem from the organization. Leg two of the stool is represented by the new normal. What does that new corporate culture look like? How has the new normal influenced the human capital assets of the organization? Has it been in a good way or a bad way?

The final leg of the stool is that of not the process of resolving the problem or the creation of the new corporate culture, but how we get from the problem resolution to the new normal. It refers to the management of the process so it also runs smoothly. It involves the communication to the organization of the why, how and when the change will take place. It refers to making sure that all the pieces are in place for an orderly change over from the old to the new. Of the three legs this leg maybe the most important. If the change management process does not involve all of the stakeholders it may very well be doomed to failure.

You now have the opportunity to determine whether this process in your organization is running the way it needs to or is the change management process creating new obstacles that the first leg needs to remove before continuing on. Is the change management process actually becoming an obstacle to the new normal by still trying to remain true to the way you have always done it.

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