A New Flexible Manufacturing Unit Within A Major Consumer And Industrial Products Company

The Opportunity

Over a period of three years, we carried out a number consulting projects for a key manufacturing division in a well-known consumer and industrial products company. When the company decided to adopt a new type of manufacturing technology, they decided to use this opportunity to establish an agile organization – an innovative, high-involvement “plant within a plant” based on socio-technical work redesign principles.

The Project

The Plant Manager’s challenge was to create the new organization from scratch. Our assistance began with Leadership Coaching for the Plant Manager, drawing out his vision. This allowed him to recruit the right kind of people for his management team. We helped the new team flesh out a genuinely shared vision for the plant and then helped them work through some initial conflict and develop into a cohesive team. We also assisted the top team in setting up high-autonomy, product-focused work-teams, cross-trained to take responsibility for their entire operation. (See our Team Development Process).

The Results

Because of the work the new plant staff put into creating a shared vision, developing into a real team, and establishing an innovative work structure, the new plant resolved an initial set of quality problems and became a real success, paving the way for the larger-scale work redesign projects that followed.