People underestimate the power of teams and what we can achieve through collaboration in an open and honest and trusting environment. Everyone complains about the lack of trust in organizations, but what do we do to earn the trust? We need to realise that respect, trust, loyalty don’t just happen, they are earned, and normally through a lot of sweat and sometime tears, hopefully little blood.
Looking at this practically, what does it mean. At the highest level, it means the company earning the consumer’s trust through delivery of the product to the right place at the right time. In this case, the product can be a service to the community or a lifesaving drug, the effort required is the same.
Moving down into the trenches, we need to take ownership of each of our areas of responsibility, and make the commitment to deliver our product or service to our customer, who is the next workstation or department in the value chain. The product we deliver must be at the correct quality specification, in the correct quantity and at the correct time. If we do this regularly, we will earn trust.
Maintenance must be carried out to approved schedules with tight measures on machine availability and machine performance. Production throughput must be consistent and within the machine performance limits, and training of staff must be a way of life. The better our skills level, the more consistent we will be in our delivery of quality product.
Another part of earning trust is being honest about our mistakes. Be sure, we will make mistakes, it is a fact of life! It is critical to share information immediately so that we can rectify the situation and put mechanisms in place to ensure they don’t happen again. Everything we do to improve our structures and processes must be formally documented and included into the latest version of our policies and SOP’s. If we don’t, the lesson will be forgotten and we will revert to repeating the mistakes of yesterday.
This is the power of collaborative teams, where everyone clearly understands the importance of their link in the chain, and who bring their A game to work every day. There is no place for passengers and everyone is committed and accountable to the vision, strategy and culture of the organization and the business. In the trenches, delivery to the business means delivery to the customer and the consumer, and this is where we must focus.