Ops 4 0 Engaging your people

Ops 4.0 - Engaging your people

Wim Willems Posted 28 May 2019

There’s no doubt that the explosive and far-reaching technological advancements of the past few years - just think about artificial intelligence and deep learning, big data, robotics and advanced analytics - have ushered in a societal and business transformation perhaps unseen before in human history.

Ops 4.0 is a strategy for responding to these rapid advances in technology by looking at four specific methodologies for maximizing the potential to improve productivity.

A lot of companies are currently embarking on Ops 4.0 transformations and although the challenges are clear; most of the companies are still struggling with the fact that the capabilities of their people will be most likely the crucial limitation. Ops 4.0 will have significant implications on people's working lives: employees have to get used to new technologies, new processes, new roles and new relationships with machines. Some Ops 4.0 jobs will be entirely new, others will merge or expand in scope. Some roles might even become redundant.

In a recent survey, barely half of the respondents said that their organization only offers learning materials specific to their organization. Only a minority reported that their organization provides experiential learning programs such as job shadowing, bootcamps, etc.

The most carefully planned transformation effort can stop in its tracks due to lack of engagement. If people aren't embracing the opportunities Ops 4.0 will offer and remain fearful, this can become a significant risk for your organization.

Luckily there are many ways to guide your people toward Ops 4.0 and to help them understand the potential.

To get buy in and make your people engaged, a structured communication effort is crucial. Every organization has its own flavour to initiate and implement this, but most efforts will at least include 3 elements:

  1. Generate and communicate a compelling change story. Align and engage people in a vision (clearly point our why we need to go in a certain direction, provide rationale). It's important to be transparent about the as is situation (or starting point ), what is the path forward and how we get there as one team. This should show the value of the transformation, both for the organization as for the employee.
  2. Genchi genbutsu (which means "go and see" ). Toyota's Chief engineer emphasizes that it's really important to experience a problem, a challenge or an innovative approach: employees can get a better understanding by learning from companies that are further along the journey. Go-and-see visits enable employees to see the bigger picture and hear the transformation story and discuss the challenges that go along with it.
  3. If people know change is coming way upfront and they understand why this change is happening they are mostly keen on learning as much as possible about it. An employer should grab the momentum and make it as easy as possible to provide access to information and resources on new technologies and approaches: publish relevant information on intranet, highlight public-domain articles, encourage them to visit conferences, attend webinars on agile development, automation or the Internet of Things.

By taking these elements into account, you have the cornerstones to build a solid foundation for a successful transformation to come.


Our team of Project Managers will be happy to guide you through the process of transformation, and help you building a solid foundation and change team to make this transformation a success.

Wim WillemsBusiness Unit Manager Supply ChainTweet this

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