You Do Not Need A Sixth Sense to See What’s Going on In Your Organisation

Mark Johnson Published at

You deserve what you are prepared to tolerate!

In my student days, the house I lived in resembled the house from the BBC TV comedy show “The Young Ones”, it was chaotically messy.  At some point in my life, mess became more noticeable, and I developed the ability to see dirt; like Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense, “I see crumbs, people!”.  Learning to see is a good thing.

We talk about learning to see during improvement activities and change.  Over time, organisational habits and behaviours develop that allow us to tolerate waste and variation.  Managers, rather like me in my student house, often find ways to manage around the waste and variation in the workplace, rather than identifying and eliminating it.  They tolerate the mess and chaos.

So how can we teach people to see waste and variation, recognise it and then do something about it?

The classic way is to “put on your waste goggles”, go on a waste walk and look for it.  It is usually quite easy to see some waste, especially as you are consciously looking for it.  I love this phrase because once you truly put on the waste goggles you can never take them off!

But often these improvements are not sustainable because of the variation we do not see.  This is variation associated with standards and our tolerance to these standards.  The reasons standards slip is that we tolerate undesired behaviour.

As Perry Belcher, Co-founder of says “Nothing will kill a great employee faster than watching you tolerate a bad one”.  As leaders, can you see the behaviours that are driving the variation in your business?

Holding people to account about what is acceptable is essential in business; you deserve what you are prepared to tolerate.  Therefore, to be successful in sustaining change you must pay equal amounts of attention to the practical removal of variation, as well as to the behaviours that drive the variation in the first place. 

At R&G Global we can apply Cultural Values Assessments, Triple ATM (Acceptance, Accountability and Acceleration) and CAPTM to navigate the inertia that has manifested itself throughout the organisation.  Triple ATM provides a risk assessment against 10 key change and leadership challenges and allows the business to focus on where the change is likely to fail.  This is supported by engagement tools, using CAPTM, transparent metrics and a learning environment.  Additionally, at R&G we drive personal accountability from the top floor to the shop floor through role modelling leadership behaviours and coaching.

In other words, “We see variation”.

At R&G Global consulting, we use data driven leadership and change acceleration to inspire your team to harness the power of change to excel in your market.  To find out more about sustaining change through behaviours and change leadership then please contact us.

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