Respect People

April 1, 2007 — Posted by Al Shalloway

I wanted to share some nice quotes about the importance of respecting people.

From Gary Hamel. “Management Innovation” in Harvard Business Review. February 2006:

“Only after American carmakers had exhausted every other explanation for Toyota’s success – an undervalued yen, a docile workforce, Japanese culture, superior automation – were they finally able to admit that Toyota’s real advantage was its ability to harness the intellect of ‘ordinary’ employees.”

And a couple of gems from Tom Poppendieck from Agile 2006:

“Today, GM and Ford have adopted most of the [Lean] practices. They understand about eliminating waste. But, they neglected the other pillar of Lean. The other foundational pillar of Lean is ‘Respect People’. That is the huge difference. When you respect people, you don’t waste their work. You don’t ask them to do useless things. You train them. You treasure their input. You enable them to do the very best job they can. And, you give them pride in their work. Pride is the most important compensation you can give anybody – not money.”

“Another aspect of respecting people is the idea that the process that the team uses to generate value is owned by the team. The process is what the team uses to achieve its goals. By the time things get formalized, it rapidly morphs into a situation where the team is a tool that the process uses to achieve its goals. That’s rather disrespectful of the individuals involved. It doesn’t leverage their capabilities and strengths and insights. Inevitably, it decays into the kinds of results that we’ve seen over the last several decades.”

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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