Monday, October 22, 2012

Einstein and Action

Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
- Albert Einstein

This is a great quote by Albert Einstein, most likely directed towards free will.  But if you think of "action" meaning "sex" it is more humorous, but for this discussion well focus on the right definition.

We see action everyday, in the form of standard work being done, all our value and non-value adds; but what about action towards problems.  When a problem occurs, it demands an action to solve it...and if we don't train our employees how to solve it effectively then the solution we get may not be ideal.

I know in my organization if a problem occurs, say it be a poory formed part issue, whoever receives the part, even though they can tell it is incorrect, will try to use it, and cut it, and shape it, and do everything they can before reporting it to a supervisor. Is this a bad thing? that they took action to try and solve the problem, not necessarily for scrap dollars, but from a quality and efficiency standpoint it is a negative.  But long ago, the owner of the organization beleived that no steel should be thrown away, no matter what it takes, employees where taught to try and save material.  

My management team and I have done a poor job of addressing this, and need to find a solution to counter-act our culture.  Because until we determine the action the employee must take when a part is determined out of tolerance, our employees will take whatever action they find most our case, spend a lot of labor dollars making a part "work".  

So, how do you attack this? what do you do?...I really am asking.  Probably some quality at the source type training, but really what we want is for employees to hold each other accountable.  If someone gives you a poor product, do not accept it as a poor product that you have fix...demand they satisfy their internal customer.  And not demand as in "you suck, i'm great" but our expectations internally have to be high enough where we don't accept failure.