Keeping score pays off
Ron, shop manager for a sheet metal contractor in Clackamas, Oregon, told session eight of the Leadership Development Lab:
“We were working on the Center for Health & Healing at the Oregon Health Science University. My departmental goal was to assemble and complete the exterior panels in less time and eliminate some of the excessive overtime we were experiencing. I got my team together to set our stretch production goals and then we brainstormed ways to improve performance to meet our stretch goals. Their first response was, ‘You are the boss. How do you want us to do it?’ (Leadership Principle #7 Play yourself down) I want your ideas’ (Leadership Principle #8 Let it be their idea). I replied, ‘I don’t have all the answers.From our brainstorming interaction we came up with a plan to split the first step in the production process into two actions. Team One would put the side fins on and Team Two would install hot channels and then the glue. An apprentice and I would do both steps on a panel to see how long it took us. This would be our production time benchmark.
“Then, to stimulate competition, we would challenge the crew to beat our time (Leadership Principle #10 Stimulate competition). I made a scoreboard of our goals and actual performance scores. Our daily performance goal was ten panels on Step One and 20 panels on Step Two. The first day we outperformed our stretch goals by 100%! We produced twice as many panels as our targeted goal.
“Brainstorming had allowed everyone to be involved by contributing their ideas. We achieved buy-in to our goals and this helped create a greater sense of team comradery. Brainstorming worked! Every day as we wrote in the actual production scores we took time to celebrate our noble achievements (Leadership Principle #15 Appeal to their noble motives).
“The lesson I learned from this experience is when I use the Leadership Principles, brainstorming, using all the skills I learned in
Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab I am capable of building a high-performance team that beats the bid.
“The action I call you to take is to get your team together, identify a problem, like too much overtime was for us, then brainstorm new and better ways of performing. Set stretch goals and apply the new approaches your team comes up with. Keep score and celebrate all your progress and achievements.
“The benefit you will gain is a great sense of pride as you experience the fulfillment that comes from leading your team to victory.”