By Rick Boxx
幾十年前，這樣的情況有了重大的轉變。這個改變是從日本開始的。在日本，在重大改變之前，相關的工作人員會經常性的被徵詢意見。有趣的是，這樣的變化是由一個美國的工程師和管理顧問W. Edwards Deming所促成的。他的貢獻包括改善服務品質以及提高產品品質。他所主張的「管理的十四個重點之一」其中一點就是:「讓每一個在公司工作的人都能參與改變。改變也是每一個員工的職責。」透過人人參與公司的改變，形成品質提升的良性循環。
本文版權為正直資源中心（Integrity Resource Center, Inc.）所有。本文獲得授權改編自瑞克．博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。
你是否也遇到在產品製造和服務上有明顯需要改變的問題，但是上司卻不願意做必要的改變的狀況？你覺得為什麼上層的人不願意改變？ 為了必要的改變，我們要如何克服不願意接受別人建議的心態？ 參與式的管理和品質提升的良性循環已行之有年，如果你們公司有採用的話，請分享你們的經驗。 聖經告訴我們向擁有第一手資訊的人尋求建議是很重要的，因為他們有現場經驗、知識和方法，能當場解決問題，而我們要選擇哪些人向他們請教呢？
THE WISDOM OF THE FRONT LINE
By Rick Boxx
A friend of mine, Paul, and some investors launched a new business with a promising new medical product. The product concept was excellent, but when the medical community used this new product, it was not effective because of significant design flaws.
When Paul communicated to his investors that the product needed to be revised, the investors did not accept what their sales people were saying about the design problems. Investors believed the product did not need changes; the sales representatives just had to do a better job of marketing it.
Ultimately, with the business rapidly nearing failure, Paul made one last effort to convince the investor group to allow him to change the design. With great reluctance, the investors finally agreed, and changes were implemented. To the surprise of the investors – but not to Paul – within three months, sales began to soar, losses were averted, and the medical community had a product they were eager to use.
This scenario illustrates a not-uncommon problem in the business and professional world. Individuals at the top levels of leadership and management make critical decisions without consulting front-line workers, whether they are the ones involved in manufacturing the product, those who provide the services, or staff assigned sales and marketing responsibilities. When results fail to come as expected, leaders struggle to understand what went wrong.
Decades ago, significant shifts were started to address this common issue. It began in Japan, where workers were regularly consulted before implementing changes that directly affected their work areas. Interestingly, a catalyst in this change was W. Edwards Deming, an American engineer and management consultant. His many contributions included emphasis on improved service and higher levels of product quality. One of his “14 Points for Management was, “Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.” This led to the development of quality circles and participative management, giving everyone opportunity to provide input into systems and process.
Demings” approaches were revolutionary for the business world at the time, but his ideas were hardly new. The Bible speaks much about the value of obtaining the advice and perspectives of people with firsthand knowledge. For instance, Proverbs 12:15 teaches, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Every day in the workplace we engage in a battle of sorts – a battle against competitors, and a battle to gain the favor of customers and clients. Proverbs 11:14 instructs, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure.” Another verse similarly observes, “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance and for victory many advisors” (Proverbs 24:5-6).
We would be wise never to overlook the wisdom of others in your workplace, especially those closest to your customers, as well as the production processes. They can see – from the front line – things we cannot see from the “ivory tower.”
Copyright 2017, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick's daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His new book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God's Way.”
Have you ever been in a situation where problems with product design or service were made known, but corporate leadership was unwilling to make necessary changes? What is the cause for such reluctance when flaws are evident? How can we best overcome such unwillingness to accept recommendations for needed changes? Participative management and quality circles now are concepts that have been in use for many years. What has been your experience with them – if at all? The Bible passages cited speak to the importance of seeking out advice and counsel from people with knowledge and perspectives that apply directly to critical circumstances. How can we go about determining who those advisers should be?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:15, 15:22, 19:20,27, 20:18, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12