As I thought about this post earlier, with the employee quote about being beaten down, I had a flashback to my time at GM, circa 1996.
While we were in the midst of trying to implement Toyota methods, with the leadership of a new plant manager who was trained at NUMMI, we had a superintendent (the #2 in charge of the plant) who didn’t have the same mindset.
His unfortunately classic line was, when complaining about a manager (and by extension, the employees), “you have to beat down on them, beat down on them, BEAT DOWN ON THEM, until they do… exactly… what… they’re… told.”
What a disgusting philosophy of management. And he meant it to (try to picture the fist pounding gesture he made as saying that). Attitudes like that, as opposed to a lack of technical Lean competency, is what slowed GM’s plant progress, to be sure.
Lean leaders don’t want employees who do exactly what they’re told. The contrast to Toyota is so clear and obvious.
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