Change is hard.
Most of the time, we need a serious motivator to change.
Before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese had estimated the U.S. capacity to wage a two-front war would be very limited, based on their current manufacturing practices.
However, as the war necessitated, the U.S. was eager to experiment with new production methods, and was able to double their output compared to Japan’s estimates, ultimately leading to Japan’s surrender, as we all know.
After the war, Japan was faced with a similar problem. They had few natural resources. And their attempt to commendeer (via war) the resources they felt were necessary for economic success had just met utter failure. So what did they do?
They changed their approach.
In an ironic twist of fate, the U.S. then reverted to their old ways as those familiar with “traditional” U.S. manufacturing methods returned from the war front to begin managing factories again, at the same time that Japan began adopting the new approaches that had allowed the U.S. to excel in wartime production, which lead to a booming Japanese economy and what we now know as things like the Toyota Production System, Lean Manufacturing, etc.
What’s the point?
We’re all more receptive to change when we’re facing crisis.
Intuitively this makes sense. When we’re not facing a crisis, it means things are working (at least to some extent).
Few of us ever face a crisis on the scale of a world war, or the economy of an entire nation. But we all face crises in our work.
Will the team be able to work together? Will the project finish on time? Will the servers be stable during the big event? Will the company declare bankruptcy?
How can you, your team, your company change to face these crises effectively?
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