Motivating Employees With Catchy Slogans
I always wonder if I should post links to WSJ articles, since I know not everybody has a $$ online subscription. But, I bet your boss reads it (or someone up “above” does). Sometimes they might take awful ideas they read over their morning coffee and try to implement them.
So, be warned “catchy slogans” are promoted in today's WSJ.
Actually, the column is somewhat balanced, in discussing pro's and con's of giving projects “catchy” titles or promotional slogans.
Mr. Lucas remembers one initiative, code-named “Shark,” that was supposed to kill a competitor's product. It didn't. “It was dead in the water,” he says.
Jane Genova, a former speechwriter at IBM and Chrysler, which also had its share of slogans, thinks there may be a correlation between having slogans and poor corporate performance. “I've never been at a place where it wasn't made fun of,” she says.
Of course, if your boss only reads headlines, you might get a bunch of new slogans. But, if your boss only reads headlines, I bet your lean efforts are superficial at best.
Click on “comments” to see another priceless anecdote.
W. Edwards Deming always preached against slogans. Point #10 of the Fourteen Points was:
Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force (problems with quality and productivity are caused by the system, not by individuals. Posters and slogans generate frustration and resentment)
As always, the alternative, according to Deming was “leadership.” Let's have more leaderhip, fewer slogans. Be a leader and explain why lean is important part of your company's vision. That will do more for lean than slogans will.