Toyota has pioneered the use of nemawashi (see http://blog.toyota.co.uk/nemawashi-toyota-production-system).
Basically the nemawashi approach involves:
- Focusing single-mindedly on client needs
- Consulting staff to consider all the options
This approach builds consensus and commitment to the initiative. It allows time for people to adjust their opinions. It’s the exact opposite of the approach adopted by most of the candidates on The Apprentice!
Research shows that most change projects in western cultures fail to achieve their objectives. The reasons attributed are because:
- the change is imposed from on high, resulting in those engaged in implementing the change not being committed to it
- a lack of clarity as to the vision behind the change
- people not knowing what first steps to take
- people not having the skills or knowledge to implement the change
- leaders not modelling the change in behaviour, so others don’t see the change as important
If firms adopted more nemawashi, I believe change projects would be more successful.