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Innovate Now: Organize change efforts

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Many of us may face tough challenges during tumultuous economic times. Competitive pressures continue, unrelenting, with high costs.

Looking for an edge, organizations strive to lower costs, reduce headcount, and improve technologies, but too few have become operationally excellent.

Why is that?

Costs pile up with story headlines such as: As Output Does Not Meet Its Potential Due to Variations, or, Utilization Suffers Because Product Changeovers Take Too Long. Attempts are made by organizations to include the use of managerial concept initiatives to eliminate unneeded defects and waste.

However, more often than not, the initiatives fail to meet expectations, not due to learning new methods, but by not putting them into daily practice. The root cause is the inability to achieve culture change.

So, how do we achieve culture change in our organization?

To achieve culture change, we must organize strong and positive change efforts. We must engage our people whose change fosters better teamwork and enthusiasm.

As leaders, we must reach out to the lowest levels, within our organizational chain; to build a foundation that change leads to a better workplace and better results. One way to strengthen the change within our organization is to take the attitude of "Being an Optimist Prime, Not a Negatron." If we take a positive approach to change, then our organization as a whole will gravitate toward a brighter, more productive future!

(Editor's note: This commentary is October's submission and part of a yearlong series from the Innovate Now Team.)