“While this makes a lot of sense, THEY won’t do it.”

“We talk about doing a lot of things but THEY never follow through.”

“You really need to understand our CULTURE here, THEY read about stuff like this and even see it presented at conferences but THEY refuse to change the CULTURE so it won’t ever get done.”

I wish I knew who THEY were.  The reason I want to meet them is THEY seem to work everywhere because the CULTURE that everyone seems unhappy with appears to be a lot like the culture in the plant I visited last week, last month and last year for that matter.  I would like to find out once and for all if THEY really created the CULTURE or have we all participated in creating it by just accepting it?

Truth be known I in fifteen plus years of consulting I haven’t met THEM.  I have met managers, directors, principals and CEO’s and truth be told I found it very interesting that while they appeared to be very interested in learning more about reliability and improving their business.  Each was very concerned, most in fact said; “I am not sure THEY are ready for this, it will require quite a change in our CULTURE!”

This seems like a bad dream staring Abbott and Costello but in reality it’s rare that a month goes by that I don’t hear these same words used to dampen the budding hopes of someone who is trying to improve.  Changing a culture of pessimism takes determination, thick skin and most important data.

It’s a rare thing for me to show up to a site and find a conference room full of people who are just flat out excited to perform their first or next RCM Blitz™.  While I can fantasize about RCM team members going home and talking to their family members over dinner about the exciting things they covered or learned in the RCM analysis that day, the reality is quite different.

I am more often asked the following questions;

“How do you do this every day?”

“How do you get managers to understand that this is important?”

“How do you deal with a group that is this defeated?”

If you want to know, I have two standard answers.  The first is to start your own business, it takes a heck of a lot of confidence and risk but it doesn’t take long to figure out that when you operate your own business, THEY don’t exist and YOU create the culture.  The only group or word you can use to blame when things get tough stares back at you in the mirror when you get up in the morning and looks you that same night asking the question; did you do enough today to make tomorrow better?

The second answer takes less risk but the same level of confidence.  YOU have more impact the culture of company you work for than THEY give you credit for.  Stop using words like THEY and CULTURE as excuses for accepting the status quo.  I can tell you with a high level of confidence that when I started bringing data to support the necessary changes, THEY began to look at me in a different light and the CULTURE I always thought existed seemed to change overnight.

So, how do I do this every day?

I bring data that shows what we do works.  Reliability Centered Maintenance wasn’t some new idea or buzz word that started a few months back.  The process works; the RCM Blitz™ methodology was started over 15 years ago and has a long history of success provided the tasks are implemented and performed.  Success is what motivates us to continue.

How do we get managers to understand this is important?

Plain and simple we follow a process that ensures success.  While some people believe RCM should be performed on every asset at your plant, we firmly believe it should be performed on critical assets that are suffering from equipment or process related operational, speed and quality losses.  Using this simple formula every single RCM Blitz performed and implemented on an asset that fits the criteria has provided a return on investment.  Again success motivates us to continue.  When your first event is successful, be prepared to do more!

How do we deal with a defeated group?

Nothing erases the memory of a loss quicker than a BIG win.  Success builds confidence, sustained success leads to passion and once people become passionate about improving reliability they will forget about words and excuses.  Successful efforts are driven by people who have experienced how good it feels to take ownership for success.

So truth be known, YOU all are responsible for changing your CULTURE so pack your tool box and bring plenty of data.  Success awaits!

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