Courtesy of 3M's Michael Muilenburg, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'The Leader's Role in Culture Transformation and Sustaining the Gains' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Digital Transformation Workplace Live Virtual Conference.
The Leader's Role in Culture Transformation and Sustaining the Gains
Michael is the Operational Technological technology manager for freelance, film and material science, engineering, and technology division. His passion for creativity and innovation is applied to operations from the shop floor to manufacturing management. During he has more than 34 year career at three M, Michael has worked in manufacturing operations, process development, product development, Lean six Sigma, and Supply Chain, a true leader, a true practitioner. Michael, we're honored to have you with us very much looking forward to your presentation.
Thank you, Josie, my pleasure to be here.
Boy, you hit on a lot of my favorite words, innovation, excellence, and obviously, the digital angle, the digital transformation piece.
So I'm going to switch to Screen Mode, can you guys see my screen?
Josey: Yes, looks great, OK, excellent, well, again, we're going to cover a lot of ground today and we're going to focus on operations, which, which really means manufacturing. You know, where the work is done, where the products are made, You know, in my 30 40 year career, with three M when I started three M actually stood for manufacturing, Minnesota manufacturing.
Minnesota Mining and manufacturing. That's a mouthful, isn't it?
And today we're not a Minnesota company. We're based here in Minnesota We're finally today it's above freezing. It's 32 degrees Fahrenheit right now and we used to be a mining company. We really don't do mining anymore, but we are still a manufacturing company. And I guess that's the, that's the main point. We legally changed, our name in, our centennial year to just three M, the number three and the letter M, but. Our roots are in manufacturing and we are still in manufacturing today.
So I'm gonna give you a quick summary where you've got a lot of ground to cover today. We're gonna start with talking about our innovation engine. You've probably heard about three M Innovation, and we're going to talk about how that applies to operations.
We're going to talk about building a team, really a dream team of people that can help with this true digital transformation.
We're gonna look at some key systems. How do you identify where to start?
How do you connect methodologies and best practices, and tools, and, and then make it all digital at the end of the day?
So we're going to talk a lot about how you connect the dots, and then specifically applying that concept to a couple of case studies. A couple of systems that we've been working on very diligently to try to achieve that highest level of sustainable excellence. So, again, the focus of the day will be on leading this digital transformation. So I want to specifically speak to the leaders, the people that are initiating these efforts, that are driving these efforts that are trying to trying to bring it home and actually implement.
So if you look at the news, and there are tons of articles, if you search digital transformation, Internet of Things, or Industry four Point out, you don't see a lot of specific system success stories in operations. Go. Back to the left here in August of 2015, McKinsey was saying, few manufacturers are actually doing this.
They don't have a comprehensive, co-ordinated way of achieving it. And that was only six years ago.
The middle, middle articles from Harvard Business Review, that was just a couple of years ago, and they're saying, a high percentage of those companies that try this actually fail, They don't fit it into their overall business strategy.
That was just two years ago.
A more recent article talks about the cultural aspect of this, and we're going to spend some time talking about that today.
What does it take?
to have a digital transformation? Is your culture ready for it? Where should you start? How do you get a foothold?
You know, in reality, this is a huge opportunity.
And, you know, we've seen it. We've been on the journey for awhile, But I think, you know, those articles are probably true of three M as well. We're not where we need to be. I won't say we're on the leading edge, We're probably still catching up. And we're asking the questions these days in 20 21, what new capabilities, skills, and mindsets, what we need in our organization.
In other words, if we do a digital transformation or bring in digital tools, will our culture support that? Will our people be ready for it?
And, and so, we spent a lot of time talking about the people, aspect of this, to prepare, implement, and do this really, really well and not, and not have a failure. Because of the people and the culture.
So, Joseph mentioned, you know, my title is actually Operational Technology Manager. Our Operational technology team is folks focused on connecting these ideas. They could be tools, methodologies, practices, benchmarks, And we want to try to deliver maximum value to our operations.
Really, we want to support everybody from the shop floor, all the way to the manufacturing director and above, and help them do their job better, make them more efficient, more effective.
And, actually, more fun, and what we've found over the years is copy exact rarely works.
So, we're going to use the word, Connect a lot.
We're going to connect the dots, That's really our team's job, is to, is to pick a tool, a method, I, software, whatever it might be, and connected with other stuff that's relevant, stuff that's going to fit into our culture, and help us drive business results. So it's an awesome job. I had a lot of fun doing it.
I've got a great team. We'll talk more about them later on. But really, that's our focus is is scouting and connecting the dots and implementing to support operations.
OK, so let's, let's talk about just the general transformation process. I mentioned I was going to talk to leadership specifically. So this is going to be a high level.
I'm just a piece of what transformation looks like from a leadership perspective.
And I often fall back on this model. It's the Define Energize Launch Execute great leadership model for, for creating a bias for Change, trying new things.
It really transforming an organization.
And there's, there's several bullets after each. Today. We're going to talk mostly about building the team. We're going to talk about the innovation model, and we're going to talk about connecting the dots.
But there are certainly other aspects to this transformation process. A couple of highlights here.
The current state, you know, what is your business case?
What is your motivation to change? What is your mindset?
Are you ready for change? You know, I think at our company, we've talked about digital transformation for many years.
I don't know if we necessarily knew what that meant, or we had the right mindset.
But we kept asking the question, Should we be doing this? Is it right for us? Is the timing right?
In the energize phase, we're constantly circling back to this, this energize phase, Communicating the case for change, and setting a bias for action, and I love this statement, We will talk more about this later, is getting employees into the infinite game. There is no end state here. It's, it's a It's a continuum, and that phrase: The Infinite game came, comes from the author, Simon Sinek.
We'll talk about him later on.
But really, a constant communication cycle to get people ready for this change and excited about it.
During the launch phase, we will talk about the innovation model, and connecting the dots, but there's also some things called Technology Roadmaps.
And even investment roadmaps. How much money are you going to put at this? Do you have the right resources in place? A lot of things to consider during the launch phase.
Finally, the execution phase, I think you'll see in the case studies, how we're executing, but but delivering short-term results, and then setting an overall strategy for a longer term path. So, those are the typical transformation activities that, that we look for from our leaders.
As I, as I mentioned, you know, Simon Sinek wrote the book, The Infinite Game if you are a leader, I highly encourage you to read it.
I love how he analyzes how leaders talk the language that they use.
Is their language reflecting a finite game which has an end state, a goal that can be achieved? Or do they, does their language reflect an infinite game?
Meaning there is no finish line, and it's a perpetual, no striving to be better and to be irrelevant. And in this case, to be digital, right?
So we are going to talk about feeling this innovation engine, it's developing our team, focused on systems, and connecting the dots, all with this infinite mindset.
Keep going back to that concept, Again, there is no, there's no end goal. There might be some short-term milestones, but there is no end game here.
So let's, let's start with building the innovation engine.
It's kinda funny, the word innovation has, become a little bit cliche.
People talk about innovation in their in their toaster.
And they're, you know, their home appliances and everything they do these days.
But I'm really talking about an innovation process. How you, how you come up with ideas, how you evaluate ideas?
How do you move things forward into practice? Not innovation by putting microchips in your in your toaster.
So if you, if you Google Innovation Model or three M Innovation, you'll, you'll probably come up with these, these bullet points.
Um, and the innovation model goes something like this: you know, understand the pain points. Some people refer to that as just understanding the customer.
Understanding the problem.
But I like the word, pain. It has a little bit more bias for action. So I really want to get an understanding of what's going on around me. What problem am I trying to solve?
What particular paine's do we have an operations, again, all the way from the shop floor to the management?
Then we want to explore possibilities: Hey, this is really the fun part.
This is the best part of my job, is scouting new opportunities, new ideas, new ways of solving these problems, or eliminating this pain.
Finally, they're sharing knowledge, and three M has a reputation for having unique ways of sharing knowledge through forums, and poster sessions, and other things, And we'll talk more about that. And then there's, of course, the famous 15% time. And so I'll try to debunk some myths about that.
And what's really not included, and you won't find this, often, if you read articles on the Thorium Innovation Model. But it really has a lot to do with building your team and empowering them, turning them loose, not micromanaging.
And so we'll talk about what kind of team do you want to apply this innovation in operations?
So, again, that's, that's the thing we're gonna do, is we're going to take the three M innovation model, which historically has to do with product development, and we're gonna apply that in operations in day to day, make this stuff, ship the stuff, test the quality of the stuff, you know, you know, back orders, returns, inventory, all that kind of fun stuff.
And we're gonna talk a lot about the culture, because innovation isn't necessarily just around technology, it's, it's around culture, and it's around some key systems, and we'll talk about those key systems and operations.
OK, let's step through this innovation model, and, you know, first one is understanding, And from an operations perspective, the way we gather internal voices, is we've got various touch points with our internal operations.
We have, we have reviews, we have site visits.
We connect with our leadership, down to the, you know, the Lean leader level. We have monthly phone calls. Very often, those are formal, just saint or informal, saying things like, you know, what, what's going on in your plant today? You know, what, what trends are you seeing? What are you struggling with?
Is or is there any help that you need, and, and just having those regular touch points with management, with plant managers, with Lean managers, as well as working side-by-side with operations on the shop floor.
And I can't tell you how important, from a leadership perspective that is, is to get involved, do an executive kai's then if you must roll up your sleeves and work side-by-side with some of your people, and just have a conversation, you know, what makes your job hard? What? what's, what could we do better here?
The next bullet is strategic planning.
And I've been fortunate the last few years to work with our Strategic Planning team, actually co-ordinate the plan for one of the largest divisions in three M, So I get a firsthand look at the strategies, the activities behind the scenes, and how it all fits together. I think that is imperative. If you're not the strap Planner, you should get involved in the strap planning process.
Find out what's going on, where you guys are going as a company, as a department, as a division, as a site, even as a value stream.
And then, finally, there's, there's crisis situations. And it could be a new product launch. It could be an increase in demand.
It could be a pandemic.
You know, back in the eighties. we were back ordered on respirators. Because Mount.
Saint Helens blew up and my high school happened to be across the street from the factory that made the respirators at the time. So I got a part-time job making respirators as a result of a volcano.
So we'll take the, this level of understanding will take the information from anywhere we can get it.
To identify the pain points, get a sense of priority and really the scope of the problems that we're trying to solve.
The next part is really understanding and exploring at the same time, because we do a fair amount of external benchmarking. Again, one of the best parts of our job is to talk to other companies. What are they doing? What problems are they solving? What solutions have they found?
We do a fair amount with external conferences, and looking to talk to other, other experts, other people that have case studies and stories to tell.
We also meet with vendors, authors, and other experts in the field.
And, again, we're trying to look at industry trends, known solutions.
We're looking for opportunities to collaborate. We're also trying to figure out what the competition is doing.
So, again, we get a greater understanding of what's going on in the world, common problems, but we're also exploring solutions at the same time. How might how might we address these things?
So, when you put those two together, you really, you really hit at the core of what we call operational technology.
It's a combination of understanding and exploring.
And, by the way, this is a very similar process for product development. I've just changed some of the words to reflect more of an operations slam.
The next part of the model is, is really digging into exploring these possibilities, and I mentioned the scouting process.
So, that's a big part of our job. We love doing that. We like talking to people that have solved unique problems.
We do put together technology roadmaps. I'm not going to talk about that today. And then, obviously, when we come up with ideas, we want a place to trial and experiment with these solutions. Now, the beauty of our team, as Joseph mentioned, is we are embedded in the Film and Materials Division in three M, so we're not part of the corporate staff. We are embedded in the Division so immediately.
We have access to an operations playground.
We've got 13 to 20 of our plants that are always saying, Pigmy, pick me.
When we have an idea, we've got resources and time to talk about a particular problem, they invite us in and say, they want to be part of this pilot or part of this experiment.
Now, that's, that's represents about 10% arms manufacturing locations.
Very often, we say it's, it's film and materials first, and then friends.
So Pete Word gets out that we're working on something unique, and people will pick up the phone and call us And, we've had the luxury of being able to, to work with people outside our division as well, so, it's not just a division focused effort.
Once, once we've we've entered into this process, over here on the left, You know, we asked some pretty, pretty common.
Exploring the possibility questions, right? Will it solve the problem? Or maybe it's just part of the problem.
We ask a lot of culture questions, will it fit, and will it change our culture?
What are we really going for? What outcomes are we looking for in terms of behaviors and cultural change?
Often we ask, Is it a proven solution?
I get the question very often, are we looking for startups, or are very unique solutions, especially in the digital area? Or does it have to be proven?
And the history over the last couple of years is it's sort of a mix, Some are new to the world, and some have been around for awhile that we just haven't discovered yet.
A big question has to do with our leadership, is our team ready, and can we get a sponsor?
Again, being being in a division, we have some resources, and we have some sponsorship that's that's just sort of default. But as we expand to the rest of the company, this is a really, really important question to ask.
Is their team ready? Is their executive leadership ready for a change?
Over on the right, you know, the output of this process is, is part of our sales pitch, if you will.
Is defining these expected outcomes. Expected results, particularly on the on the behavior side, What are we looking to really change on, that's going to affect our culture and the way we work?
We do we do a lot of comparison of alternatives and competitors, as as you'll see later, we often connect the dots, we connect alternatives and competitors with each other, and maybe make a better solution coming out the other end.
We're really big on user experience. We spent a lot of time on the shop floor and with the teams.
I'm talking about the solutions, and, and not just selling them. We want to see the users reaction.
It's great when we get a positive reaction, like, Oh, this is fun. This is really going to solve our problem, and make life easier. And last but not least, of course, we've got a financial justification. People are always asking from finance. You know, what's the payback?
So the last thing I'll just mention here, is, we use a to call, PUE, concept selection matrix to sort out, all this, this stuff.
And if you haven't seen that tool, you can just go to Wikipedia and take a look at that. It might help you sort out alternatives, as well.
All right, so the next part of this this is sharing knowledge.
And I mentioned earlier, you know, we've got an elaborate system of project reviews management, re-use, peer-to-peer and poster sessions those are all really great analog things we've been doing them for years.
In the year of the pandemic, we've been relying more on social media tools, Wikis, Yammer, you know, other platforms to communicate and share ideas. And this is one thing that's really great about our company, is, is we've got a lot of sharing people like to talk about what they're working on, and offer assistance, or advice, or even just a thumbs up, thumbs down. So, that's a big part of the process. If you don't have a sharing knowledge system, you really need to create one.
And finally, 15% time, on the left is a quote from an article where it said that many employees spend up to 15% working on things that have nothing to do with their jobs mission. I don't know where they got that quote. It's not exactly how it works.
It's really all employees spending up to 15% working on projects ideas that are aligned with your mission. So, they're usually adjacencies.
They're usually not all that harebrained and completely out of scope.
Um, And so, the, really, the question is here, to you, as a leader, inspire employees to play with ideas and innovate, whether it's 10% time or 20% time, or 30% time, or maybe it varies depending on the role and the person, you really need to encourage that.
So, a couple of comments about building a team. So, as I mentioned, I'm very fortunate to have a team of experts. And our job is really operational technology scouting, identifying, evaluating, and implementing solutions.
You know, a typical approach might, might be building a team, You might be thinking, Well, I probably need some engineers.
You know, it's an operations thing, so I need some Lean, and six Sigma is still in fashion.
And, you know, we could have gone down that path, but I was very lucky in the early days of this to choose my own team and interview everybody and select them and I used a different model.
And I actually went back to my favorite book, The Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell.
And what I did is I wanted a core of innovators people that were creative that, like to talk about ideas that like to brainstorm, that words it that were just had a track record of coming up with cool stuff.
But I really also needed to have connectors, Tom Salesman and Maven's and the connectors are the ones that connect people to people, OK, they make introductions, they have the huge network. They make selling ideas and finding people to get on the bus and get on board a lot easier. So we always have to have a connector on our team.
The salesmen are selling solutions to people.
You know, they're the persuaders, they're not, they're not selling something you don't need, they're selling something you do need and they're very keen on persuading, convincing, negotiating I'm saying things like, Boy, can we just give this a try?
And so that's fantastic. We've got to have a salesman on our team and then finally the mavens: you know, and and they are the information people. They connect us with new information.
Again, I mentioned we do a lot of scouting and looking on the outside, but but you really need an information specialist on your team. So this is my model. This is this, my team always needs to have a balance of these three rare social gifts, with the heart of an innovator to make this work.
So if you don't have a team as a leader, you know, look inside, Look outside your organization and try to find these, these rare, these rare skills, OK, so let's talk about improving key systems, and then we'll get to a couple of examples.
So our definition of a system is really things working together, this inter-connected network, it's an organized scheme or methodology. It's different than the word process, which we usually think of is more of like a piece of equipment or a component.
You know, it might be a process might be the engine, or the brakes, or the tires. The system would be the incomplete transportation system, which would include the car and the stoplights, and the roads, and everything else.
So, that's kind of our broader definition of a system, And that's where we start asking the questions, You know, what is going on in the system that, that needs digital transformation, that needs improvement, that needs a fresh set of ideas.
We've identified about 6, 7 categories, people, culture, quality, technology, flow, standardization, improvement and customer. But really, that ends up being over 100 unique systems that support operations.
And over the last couple of years, we focused in on the systems over here on the right, you know, our daily management, which is, how do we run our operations?
How we solve problems? How we communicate on a daily basis.
Our standard work, which includes our job based training, onboarding, and all the things related to how the work is done.
We've been looking in to expanding our work in our visual systems, especially with some of the digital solutions, which even includes things like five asks. Can you imagine a digital five S system?
And then lastly, employee development, e-learning, and an ongoing employee development.
But, also, what does that blend ... pandemic of in class, expert training versus remote learning, self study? You know, the repetition, the testing, the certification, all those kinds of things.
So, we want to move, you know, again, from the left here on the principles, principles are good of good practices of enterprise excellence is the term we use from the Shingo Model. Systemic design, you know, looking at these hundreds of systems and trying to design you know a better mousetrap. And then there's always a digitization, or a digital spin on everything we do, and more so, in the last couple of years.
You know, another way of mapping this is to take those systems and just go a higher level to standard work training, problem solving, analytics and safety. And you find there's, There's all kinds of overlap. If you can solve any one of these problems, or in any one of these, systems, can be enhanced. You're going to have a lot of overlap in the problems that you're, you're actually addressing during the day.
So, this is just one way, This is actually a start of our technology roadmap, and I can map solutions to these particular headings and create kind of a landscape of where we need to go in the future.
OK, the last part, the Case Studies, let's let's connect the dots. Let's, let's talk about some specific solutions here.
So one of the problems we've been having is, is just a fundamental daily management system.
In operations, it's everything from the daily huddle in the morning to the the upper tiers that talk about the charts and the graphs as as well as assigning action items and auditing and all kinds of other aspects of the system.
What we're finding is, because we've got a huge, hidden factory of data and charts, and, and reports, and people looking at different views of the situation, really takes up a lot of time and energy.
And at the end of the day, we've got all this untapped potential. The information is not really translating into action.
People aren't feeling empowered.
They're feeling like they spend their whole day reporting out data, but they're not doing anything to solve it and really work on the problems. Then, we also come into the problem of rework, meaning, we say, solve the same problems over and over again. You know, today, we're green. So, we don't have a problem, tomorrow, or red, and we're solving the same problem we had last week when we were red.
So, the question we asked is, Are we really committed to safety, performance and improvement, which are the three main things that we want to deliver on a daily basis.
Then the question comes up, is, do we should be throw a digital solution at it? Everybody was talking about digital tier boards, and that'll solve your problems. And we thought rushing into this was just going to create more of a mess that's going to create a digital hidden factory. And it really doesn't do anything to help the managers or the workers improve the way the work is done.
So instead, we started Foundationally with working on the culture and the mindset, and really, what are we trying to accomplish with this system on a daily basis. We establish some standards. We looked at some different methodologies, different ways of running a daily management system. And then we also talked a lot about critical metrics. We don't want to redo all our production reporting. We don't want to redo Watson or annual report on what are the critical metrics that we need for each operation at each level of the organization.
So, we connected the dots, we started with a principle based study, we wanted to be embracing the Shingo Model.
And we started there, we worked with Mike Martin to talk about leadership and winning and closing the loop on this on this problem solving more from a leadership perspective.
And then we worked with Jamie out and the team at CSI.
The book is leading your business forward, to get better clarity, connectivity, and consistency, and this is more on the execution side.
How does it actually work? And, after years, literally, this is a timeline of, you know, 2014, 15, 2016, 17, and 2017 to present.
Now, we feel like we're ready for some digitization, and connecting, you know, metrics to dashboards at lower tiers.
In the bottom right here, we've actually got an action log, where we're connecting things, actions to the actual metrics.
The second problem that I want to talk about is, revolves around standard work and onboarding. It's, you know, we have complex operations, we've got a lack of standardization. And in many cases, our improvement cycle is all out of whack because we don't necessarily have standards that we're following.
And we've had a lot of new employees, either because of growth, or because of turnover.
So we asked the question, are we creating standards? Are we following those standards, are we training to standards, and are we improving the standards?
Well, we started looking at digital solutions. And this goes way back. And we said, rushing into a digital training and onboarding system is really going to not work.
Because we don't, we don't really know what the needs of the people are, and we don't really understand standard work, and we don't really understand our improvement process.
So instead, we decided to figure out how to capture this expert knowledge. Which is really the how to stop the encyclopedia, it's not the drawings.
It's not all the reference manuals. It's not the troubleshooting. We wanted to just started with just how to do the work.
We want to make it visual, and we want to make it mobile.
And most importantly, and my favorite part is we wanted to create platforms for improvement.
So you can imagine having three ring binders locked away in cabinet's as training manuals.
And yeah, expert knowledge is hidden away, it's not visual, it's not mobile, and there's no way of improving.
I've found examples where documents have been locked away for 12 to 15 years, and they haven't been looked at or updated.
So rather than rush to a digital solution, we started asking these questions first.
And then we went back to fundamentals of standard work and said, let's agree that we need standard work. That includes task, time, materials. We want some visualization, and we want to find outcome.
And we spent a lot of years doing old-fashioned standard work charts like, like as shown here on the left.
Just to figure out what's the best way to document that.
We started moving a few years ago into a digital platform. We're evaluating and using ... pretty extensively these days.
It is visual. It's really YouTube for operations.
And it uses a combination of video, photo, and text. And it's also mobile. So we're using mobile devices in our operations to train and onboard people, right, where the work is done.
And just as we're settling into this and saying, hey, that feels pretty good. We feel like we're digitizing. We feel like we're improving. We, we start questioning, how fast can we create content, how fast can we update content. So we want speed.
We want, we want rapid improvement. We want it more collaborative.
And we also want multi language since we're a multilingual company.
So we've started investigating how to use a Hollow lens, not just for remote assist, but for remote knowledge, capturing, and documenting, and then also using natural language processing for translation and voice to text, to speed up our ability to capture this expert knowledge.
So when you combine these two systems, you know the Standard Work System and the daily sis management system, you really end up with this thing. And here's a couple of the digital examples: the zucchini, the hollow lens, a combination of visual want and Microsoft Power BI.
And what we've found is, when you get these two systems working together, you've got a foothold on improvements, on excellence, on, on branding, people like their job. People feel more connected to the work.
And so this is, again, how we've connected many tools, many concepts, and many methods, and now connecting two different systems together to make a much more powerful enterprise, excellent system.
So, at the end of the day, we really are expecting to observe, you know, ownership. People, people own their process. They own the data. They own, they own the standards.
Um, they, they're on board.
They're discussing their work. How, how they're, how they're improving every day.
We've created questions and learning opportunities through the continuous improvement at the Daily Management, as well as the Suki standard work system. I think we're conserving a lot of time and energy.
We can onboard people faster. They feel more connected to their work faster. They're making quality products faster.
And, frankly, we're generating some excitement. People, like, coming to the tier meetings, they love using the ... tool.
I can't tell you how many times people have said to me, this is fun.
Which is, shouldn't work be fun.
So I'm just I'm I'm just tickled that this is all coming together. And that's what we're actually observing on the floor.
So just to bring this in for a landing, a couple of key takeaways, again, back to leadership.
So, as a leader, do you have an innovation model? If not, build one, follow it.
Turn innovation loose in your operations. It's not just for product development and just for laboratories. Build a dream team. You're welcome to use my connector, Mavens, salesmen Innovator model.
But, but pull people out of their normal routines, their normal disciplines, and find a team of people that have these unique social gifts, can drive this forward.
And then work on the systems that matter. I pointed out to systems that were very important to us.
Those may not be the places where you start, but pick something that is important to you and start working on and start the digital transformation there.
And with that, I'll close and say thank you, thank huge, Jose, for hosting.
Thanks for listening, and I'm ready for questions anytime you are.
Fantastic, Michael. What a great presentation we appreciate. We appreciate that coverage.
And we had several questions that have come up while, of course, why you present. So I'm gonna grab as many of those as I can in the time that we have allotted he'll fast on.
So, right off the bat, You know, terrific reveal of the importance of fundamentals, of excellence, of innovation.
You've covered the whole gamut from tactics and operations to strategy culture so that you touch on so many important concepts here, and the, you know, our audience has, definitely Kat has caught onto that.
So let me, let me just pick some of the themes that have emerged here.
This first one here comes from Susan Burcham, and she asks, it's a bit of a more technical question for you that is free and has had experience with links, Lean and six Sigma for quite some time. And the question is that, and you talked a little bit about that, maybe we can go a little bit deeper now on, how have you, how has that experience with Lean and six Sigma enable your digital transformation journey?
Yeah, that's, oh, boy, that's a that's a whole session on it itself right there. Yeah, we've been doing six Sigma for 21 years and Lean formally for over 15 years.
And, again, what I like about that, and I was in that organization for awhile, is that we have a higher awareness of no waste and no opportunities. We use a lot of data. We make data driven decisions.
But a couple of years ago, I think we hit a point where, where it just wasn't enough. We weren't transforming.
We were using tools, and the same old data and the same old results, and so we're really looking at breakthrough stuff here.
So my team, you know, the ability to scout and look at new things.
New, you know, new ways of doing things or which digital or not, And really break outside the Lean and six Sigma confines.
I actually don't like the word Lean because it often means downsizing and being cheap. And, you know, six Sigma is all about stats and yes and yet I love the methodologies.
I love the thinking, but, but don't get hung up on those two things Those, those will take you to an efficiency and an optimization.
Um, but I don't think they're, they're set up for transforming.
And we're talking more about transforming here.
Excellent. Very good. And the, and the awards matter. So, it's a, it's a little bit of that friction between the fundamentals, as you said. And some fundamentals of Lean and fundamentals of six sigma are wonderful fundamentals. Oh, absolutely.
Yeah, but it does become a challenge when the fundamentals and the methodologies become Amanda to themselves, Right. And that's where, why you're getting to, it has to be about a higher purpose related to excellence related to innovation. And those fundamentals are enablers for that.
But they are not the goal by themselves, and I think a lot of programs kind of move in that direction, That became a bit of a self serving, methodology driven type of approach.
Yeah, You articulate it very, very well. I I couldn't say it better. That's, that's exactly what we're saying, here.
And William Fuller has a couple of questions. one of them is related to dominant, enterprise wide approach, to change management, that you may be using. Now, you talked about a lot of different potential approaches to change management. And, and the easiest question is, the heart of his question is about that. Do you have multiple change management approaches? Or is there one that is perhaps deleting one, the dominant one for the company?
Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up, because, you know, there, we do have an overarching and maybe ever changing change management process and in a very large company with, you know, 90,000 employees, Of course, we do. But I think what I was trying to emphasize is is maybe the smaller change management is.
We're embedded within a division. We've got a playground of a couple of couple of our plants. A couple of our leaders are saying, Pick me, pick me!
And, frankly, most of our successes have come through that process, and not because there's a corporate initiative or a corporate change management program. So I think you need both. I think you need corporate governance.
Somebody looking over your shoulder have, in your back, maybe providing some capital. But honestly, most of this innovation happens on a very small scale with a couple of users, a single problem. And then it and then it spreads.
And our standing joke is our group is always one phone call away from being out of capacity.
So people hear good stuff and they call and they say, hey, we want to be part of it too.
And that's the most fun kind of change management, by the way.
You obviously have created a great team when you have, you know, this internal consultants to a certain extent of the organization who are being pulled. That's a level of development.
There cannot be taken for granted, It takes a lot of great work to get to that point, so, well done. The question that comes next comes from Gabriele ..., and she's talking about, first of all, amazing session or her commentary. And she says, I find culture change of the toughest part of the process.
Can you share any lessons that you have lying on, on change management and on things that affect the culture?
Anything, as you look back, things they you may should have done differently, or you have learned from?
Yeah. You know, we hit a wall, and after after 25 years with a company and working with some, some top leaders, we had some pretty frank discussions about, about the culture and how things were going. And we were all very frustrated.
And so, again, I was very fortunate to be the Scout that went out and talked to the Shingo People, the Shingo Model, and said, you know, there's something different there. Let's start there.
And, again, I mentioned in one of the slides that was the Shingo Model Plus some of the Mike Martin's writing plus Shane.
Those guys obviously helped us with some specific systems, but more importantly, they started forcing us to reflect on our culture.
And I will tell you, again, after about 10 years of this, you know, being on that part of the journey, our language has changed at our company.
I hear top executives talking about behaviors, or they may even even quote, you know, humility and respect and focusing on process, and many of them haven't even read the Shingo Model and yet, I hear them using the words, the principles that are cited in the model.
I hear them, quoting, Shame yount, consistency, you know. The the the clarity clarity where it keeps coming up and like they haven't even read Shane's book.
So I think we're onto something here. It may take another decade or so, but you gotta start somewhere, and I think those are some of my favorite places to start.
And, and it's, it's, it's, it's not just a bunch of jargon and a bunch of a bunch of books to read, it actually is the start of that transformation.
Love that. Michael, thank you so much. We are out of time right now, but what a wonderful presentation. Great insights, from a true leader and practitioner of improvement of innovation, of culture, of culture transformation. So, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. On behalf of over 2000 registered participants, it's being a gift to all of us.
Thank you very much. It's been my pleasure.
Thank you very much, Ladies and gentlemen. Michael Muhlenberg, from the three M Company, an organization with over 90,000 professionals who continues to accelerate excellence, continues to accelerate innovation without proud history, and a great future ahead as a result of those of those approaches. So, thank you, everyone, for the terrific questions. I got to most of them. But not all. And if you want to, if you want to follow up on some of this on this questions, I suggest that pose the question, like, share, and provide updates on the LinkedIn that we have for this conference. You can look under my name, shows up various on LinkedIn, and you see it's one of the feature posts that I have, and you can make commentary and there will have some of the speakers come in and provide some, some, some answers to questions on that, on that platform, as well.
Now, we're going to wrap up this one, and we're going to start a new session at the top of the hour, and when I come back, I'm gonna come back with the President of the Cyber X, our coalition April, Boyden Rohner, and she's going to talk to us about about the top four Rules of Engagement for Digital Transformation for human centered Design. Fantastic session. So, I'll see you back at the top of the hour. Thank you.
Operational Technology (Lean) Manager, Strategic Planner,
+ Manager of high performing Operational Technology (continuous improvement) team supporting $XB in SVOP produced in 13 locations worldwide.
+ Lean Six Sigma implementer, project team leader, project manager, facilitator, trainer, coach/adviser, and consultant.
+ Process Developer for various continuous manufacturing technologies (film extrusion, coating, web converting, inspection, micro-replication).
+ Primary inventor and author of 3 U.S. patents.
+ Facilitator, classroom trainer, and curriculum developer for continuous improvement methodologies (Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, TRIZ, statistics, simulation tools, and Marketing New Products).
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