I have to share this link from Evolving Excellence. Anything can go wrong when managing a project, or running an organization. It could be internal or external. In many cases you don’t have a way of predicting what might go wrong or when. But it helps to be prepared, not by some superfluous risk management system that is half baked because the process demands it, but by creating a culture that absorbs it.
Toyota will be affected by the downturn in demand, but they will also be the best equipped to weather it. The primary reason for this is that for them people come first. Yes, everyone says that. But not like this. It is not just that people come first, it is that other people come first. Working together with other people in a culture based on individuality does not help organizations. Ego comes in the way, and it is this that causes us to create a structure that feeds this ego.
Performance reviews that are individual based. Salary structures that assume that somehow the head of the company is worth a thousand times more than a worker that actually touches the product. Hire and fire policies that treat labour as an expense and not an asset. Decision making that is top down, with little thought given to its impact.
Working together creating a symphony requires a deep understanding of the other artists around you. A mistake by any one can spoil the whole experience, but at the same time, you can do a lot more as a team.
Perhaps this downturn will cause more firms to move to Lean.