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Aerospace Sector Briefing No: 2/2018

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Aerospace Sector Update –  2/2018

Is your business truly lean?

Ramsey Hall’s aerospace practice has worked with significant numbers of aerospace & defence businesses that have either choosen not to implement lean or have tried to implement it and failed.  This is despite SC 21 and the many excellent examples of how lean implementation has transformed the automotive industry, amongst many others. Toyota being perhaps the best-known example.

The question is why would any company not adopt lean practices?

During 2017 Ramsey Hall’s organisational effectiveness practice reviewed the data gathered during numerous people capability projects and identified a set of common themes which differentiate successful lean implementers from those organisations that have either failed to start or started but failed to complete lean implementation.

Companies and organisations that have successfully adopted lean invariably demonstrate:

  1.    A culture of continuous improvement that includes people as well as engineering/manufacturing practices
  2.    Leadership in the business that not only embraces continuous improvement but is the major champion of change
  3.    HR practices that are designed to promote high performance. Typically, there will be an emphasis on continuous assessment, learning and career development so as to encourage ‘discretionary behaviours’ amongst staff
  4.    Succession planning that helps to ensure that core skills are retained and developed in the business.  This doesn’t just mean craft skills but also key leadership skills and technical competencies as well

How to achieve transformational change

Our bespoke ‘Checklist For Change’ tool has been developed across numerous consulting projects and is proven to provide a rapid return on investment. Its use will help ensure that you:

  1.    Understand the capability and motivation of your leadership and first line managers – our sister practice, The Occupational Psychology Group, has assessed well over 1000 people and is able to identify managers and leaders who cannot or will not embrace change.  For further details email me for a copy of our white paper on why the implementation of lean so often fails
  2.    Are able, once the capability and motivation of leaders and managers is known, to construct an organisational and personal development planning process that informs executive coaching and/or formal training needs
  3.   Can strategically use selective recruitment practices to reskill the business once capability gaps have been identified. Don’t be afraid to remove poor performers or those with limited capability and motivation. Your business fundamentally depends on the right mix of craft and leadership skills
  4.   Understand that only when it is established that the team is capable and motivated to change is it time to implement or revisit lean techniques. Successful lean and continuous improvement only works when the foundations for sustainability are in place.

Why bother?

The Flat Earth Society maintained, and indeed still do, that the earth is flat. It may seem ridiculous but then so too is the notion that lean and continuous improvement is unimportant or can be sustained by itself without making the necessary investment in people and organisational practices.

How we can help

Ramsey Hall is well known for its aerospace & defence practice. Together with our organisational development and business psychology practice, The Occupational Psychology Group, we have an outstanding track record of helping clients achieve successful change through assessment, through executive coaching and through change management.

To find out more, contact Phil Boyle FRAeS on 02380 236944.

Phil Boyle is Managing Director of Ramsey Hall and its subsidiary practices and the immediate past Chairman of The Royal Aeronautical Society. He has recruited many of the aerospace and defence sector’s leading people and has led numerous productivity and capability reviews with The Occupational Psychology Group.

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