Many small manufacturing businesses today resemble what I call an upside-down pyramid. Can you envision such a pyramid attempting to balance on its point? What you have is an impossible balancing act of monumental proportions; near impossible regardless how much money you throw at it! Many manufacturing businesses today, reside in a world managed by tyrannical leadership, with no experienced balanced leadership approaches to speak of at all.
Businesses that grow without investing in a balanced leadership infrastructure result in one person making all the decisions. A manufacturing environment with one person making all the decisions is easy to spot. Walk around the business, you will see people standing around pretending to be busy. The difficult to balance, such as an upside-down pyramid can still work and lead to manufacturing business success. For example, a two to four million-dollar revenue manufacturing business with about 20 employees is manageable with one strong leader. The balancer is physically and emotionally unable to manage every key element of that business with efficiency, such as responding to the business’s needs in a timely manner. The huge “but” here; is this type of leader, does not make decisions based on sound business data? Instead, decisions strictly emotionally based using non-factual data. This is where the term “Pie in Sky” came from a one sided skewed reality. His or her leadership reality rules that day, lending to many looks of bewilderment from their employees.
Emotional base decision making instead of fact-based decision making, results in employees reacting to change by always seeing the glass being half-empty, instead of as being half full. The negative aspect becomes the governing force, the performance influencer promoting counterproductive morale. What you have is the same people standing around waiting for someone to make a decision, now gossiping as well. Gossip is the natural by-product of working inside a tyrannical manufacturing company. Gossip is just as destructive as a tyrannical leader.
The solution is very simple, develop, and implement an evenly balanced business, by allowing your employees to help you do it. Occasionally, you will end up where you don’t want to be, that is acceptable as long as the new business direction results in some sort of positive balanced between business performance and leadership growth. Tyrannical leadership practices can end, by encouraging others to lead; make decisions, and yes occasionally these new people now involved in the decision process, can make mistakes. Mistakes are a positive aspect of change, when you learn from mistakes, and embrace mistakes as gained knowledge, you can now share them with others. The future is looking brighter; the manufacturing leadership business fix has a few essential parts called the Smart-Process:
- The smart-process begins with a comprehensive assessment of the business in the current state, exposing its strengths, and exposing its weaknesses. During the assessment phase, the weaknesses of what is perceived to be problems are studied, and targeted, for elimination.
- The next component is the change moment, the business as a whole accepts that it must change. The change phase is the cultural aspect of the processes that are going through a makeover of transforming a business from weakness to strength. In the mind of the employees, the change quickly becomes part of the solution.
- Next, make sure you have realistic, honest measuring systems in place to determine if the changes are actually creating value for the business, improving that business, and creating sustainable satisfaction for both internal and external customers.
- Finally, the full circle, share the leadership responsibilities, invest in many balanced leadership talents; “Leader’s number one responsibility is to make other leaders.” Having many leaders forces the pyramid to stop balancing on its pinnacle, and landing on a pyramid’s widest base, its foundation of strength. For that, reason pyramids can remain standing for eons of time, regardless where they are built.
If a business’s desires to stay in business, this business cannot reside in a world managed by tyrannical leadership, with no balanced leadership approaches to speak of at all. Team based leadership is adaptive, responsive to business market changes; and this team base ability is mandatory for manufacturing survival today.
by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2011
Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro Savo
Dr. Pietro Savo E-Mail Link firstname.lastname@example.org