Breaking the Mould allows
people to be as good as they can be by listening to them and removing their
frustrations. In an operation crewed by 50 individuals over 70 ideas for
improvement were received and implemented in one month.
In an operation crewed by 50 individuals over 70 ideas for improvement were received and implemented in one month.
Each idea represented a frustration removed and a measurable performance improvement.
Breaking the Mould™
Breaking the Mould™
Breaking the Mould™ is an entirely new way of enabling change in organisations: change which is both transformational and sustainable. It is the fermentation of ideas that have been growing for the last ten years through the work of Peter Hunter. The process starts from a very simple assumption:
“Everybody wants to do a good job”
Few if any people start work and want to do a bad job. People want to be proud of what they do - they want to be able to say: “Look at me, I did that”. They want to make a difference.
So what gets in the way?
Strong structural and cultural drivers get in the way. If a good idea is ignored, or disappears without trace; if others steal the credit, or if people are told “You are not paid to think”; if for whatever reason people do not feel heard - then they very soon stop having good ideas.
This prevents individuals from making positive contributions to the organisation and can have one of two consequences, which start from individuals, then spread to teams, and very quickly become 'the way we do things around here'.
What are the consequences?
The first consequence is stress. If nobody will listen to an idea that is going to be of benefit, it is very frustrating for the individual who has the idea. The harder they try to be heard, and the more committed they are to progress, the more stressful it is.
The other consequence is an individual’s own defence against stress: apathy! Stress is a function of caring: to avoid stress our defence is to cease caring, to become apathetic.
So an embedded reaction to subsequent change - even positive, organisation-wide improvement initiatives - is to take pleasure when things start to go badly: "Serves them right! If they had listened to me none of their problems would have happened.”
We want to do a good job but these obstacles frustrate us
Breaking the Mould™ understands this and sets out to produce an environment that actively searches for and removes the obstacles and frustrations that stop people from doing a good job.
When that happens people can take pride in their work and when they can take pride, their performance becomes exceptional.
The key to the process is ownership. Ownership is not something you can give to people. What we can do is create the conditions that will allow people to take ownership.
Over a three-month period using the Breaking the Mould™ Process, Peter took one team, described at the time as being “a silent intimidated front line workforce”, to what was described later by the same commentator as “knowledgeable and proud”.
The workforce created an eight hundred percent performance improvement in one process over three weeks, and then sustained that improvement. This is a true story!
In another, they rewrote the operating instructions and removed a potentially deadly failure from the procedure.
They equalled the world record in another process by making a fifty percent improvement over two weeks … and they sustained that level of performance with ease. Being allowed to take ownership created this change. The performance improvements are a result of that ownership.
Peter had gone to South America on one occasion because the operator told his client that if they did not improve their performance they could ship out all of their equipment and go back to Europe.
Three months later the same operator was telling his other suppliers that if they did not start to match up to Peters client, they too could pack up and leave the country.
On another occasion while working with a European team towards ownership of their operation the workforce saved their operator £3.9 Million, that was 27% of their operating budget for that year. The improvement was sustained, it came from the crews ownership.
From dependence to interdependence
These savings were the result of behavioural change and the emphasis of Breaking the Mould™ is on the team maintaining this change for themselves.
This means that the saving is repeated in subsequent years and is added to by the workforce who by “owning” their work, continue to create improvements after the coach has gone.
“Breaking the Mould™” works and the extraordinary performance improvements detailed above are available for any business using a trained BtM Facilitator.
Hunter Business Consultancies Ltd, Cranfield.