To bring positive change to an organization it is vital to build a coalition, to carefully raise awareness about a better way to do things, and to do it in a way that respects management and the people in the organization.
Japanese management has a unique practice that teaches us how to accomplish this, a practice that Lean has used and that we embrace as a fundamental part of KAFE. In summary the Nemawashi Way involves the following steps:
- Find as much as possible about the roots of the bad business practice, bad metric, or fake deadline that needs to be corrected
- Finding out who are the people in authority that need to be convinced to bring about positive change
- Informally gather support from like-minded professionals in the organization to build consensus
- Informally talk with the people in authority to see what level of positive change can be implemented
- Once support has been achieved from the people in authority, call for a formal meeting to make the decision official. If possible full change will happen, but otherwise gradual change will begin.
- Finally implement the change!
If you wish to know more from the Japanese cultural links to Nemawashi today, I recommend you read this article.