Page 3: Strategy
To manage the change process at the Jaguar plant, Ford worked closely with a consultancy group called Senn Delaney Leadership. Senn Delaney believes that it is important to align the culture, structure and the strategy of an organisation. The organisation that seeks to change its strategy without changing its culture will experience resistance to change. The successful management of change is crucial.
The strategy of the organisation includes the overall business direction and the plan to achieve it. Structure includes the organisational design and model, the processes, systems, policies and procedures that support it. Organisations involved in the change process often focus on strategy and structure and neglect culture change. As a result, the existing culture acts like an invisible anchor that drags the business down.
In the motor industry in the early 1990s, many employees were not used to making decisions for themselves. They expected to be told what to do. This slowed down change when companies wanted to move on to self-managed teamwork approaches. In the 1990s Jaguar overhauled its approaches to work to create an environment in which employees were encouraged to ‘take ownership’. They would be involved in managing a process of continuous improvement that revolved around ‘lean production’.
Lean production involves standardising work processes to cut out waste. The standard set is the best identified method of operation at a particular moment in time. This standard is continuously improved. The key to lean production is to identify which production processes add value. Processes which do not add value are cut out so that labour and machinery can focus on added value activities. To introduce lean production at Halewood it was necessary to transform existing attitudes in the workforce. Employees had to take responsibility for introducing new working methods and to continuously suggest further improvements. They would work in small teams with a team leader.