The Chemistry of Change: Problems, Phases, and Strategy

The Chemistry of Change: Problems, Phases, and Strategy

The Chemistry of Change: Problems, Phases, and Strategy

The Chemistry of Change: Problems, Phases, and Strategy

Synopsis

Building on his previous book, The Customer's Victory, Franccedil;ois Dupuy outlines ways to manage a change process. Using practical examples from new case studies and discussion of current theories of organizational change, this book explains how true organizational change can be effected in both private businesses and public organizations. With a strong pedagogical format, case studies and a helpful glossary of terms, this is an invaluable guide both for managers having to deal with change implementation and for students and researchers of change management.

Excerpt

The following scene takes place during a factory visit to an automobile equipment manufacturer in the American Middle West. This unit is mainly involved in the manufacture of various models of radiators on two production lines, one of which, the factory's pride and joy, has just been completely restructured. Our guide is a young engineer, brilliant, enthusiastic, volubly and accurately explaining the whole production system, the reasons for the almost clinical cleanliness of the workshops, the way in which staff meetings are held at the end of each shift to report progress, the absence of intermediate stock – which he considers to be his best success, even earning him a mention in the company's newsletter. in brief, an idyllic picture, which confirms the first overall view glimpsed by visitors.

Intermediate stock as symptom

The production process itself appears simple, which again the young engineer reckons to be a success. Huge metal rollers at the head of the line unwind at a regular pace. the sheets are pulled along by the belt, passing under successive chambers where processing is carried out. the finished product is immediately removed at the end of the line, as the factory follows a pull production system. a relatively low number of operatives watch over operations in an atmosphere redolent of calm, conscientiousness and concentration. One might just happen to notice that the line has an ‘elbow’ bend – a 90° angle three-quarters of the way along its length – because of the size of the workshop, according to our guide, who does not seem to attach much importance to it.

And yet, if one stays to watch alongside this ‘elbow’, one of the operatives can be seen, standing inside the right angle, his back turned to the incoming flow...and nonchalantly leaning on a pile of 20 or so half-finished radiators. This is pointed out to the young engineer, asking if this is not one of those famous build-ups of intermediate stocks which, as industrial history has shown, have the extraordinary ability to reappear just where they are least expected, and no matter how sophisticated the control equipment is that is used.

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