Combining Lean With Emotional Intelligence Case Study


I came across an article that talks about how emotional intelligence is used in the implementation of lean. CIBA is specialty chemical company whose Italian office decided to go Lean. The main difference in their transformation that’s normally not done is the focus on the organizations emotional intelligence and EQ (emotional quotient) score.

Some notable results from their transformation include:

– productivity increased by 18%
– reducing complaints by 73%

They credit their success to consistent application of emotional intelligence along with Lean implementation. The two are not separate but hand and hand. Many of you know what Lean is or at least have an idea but you may not know what or how to make your organization emotionally smarter. Emotional intelligence is defined by four factors:

1) The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others entails identifying internal cues of emotional experience and emotional information in facial expressions, voice, music, designs, and other stimuli.

2) The ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking entails integrating emotional information with ‘cold’ cognitive processes.

3) The ability to understand emotions entails appreciating emotional dynamics and blends of emotions and how these influence thinking and behavior.

4) The ability to manage emotions entails regulating emotional experience in oneself and in interpersonal situations to attain personal goals and adaptive outcomes.

The good news is that you can change your organizations emotional intelligence just as you can processes and the combination of the two changes leads to a permanent culture change. Just like Lean transformations, increasing the emotional intelligence of your organization is not going to be easy because you will run against deep seeded feelings and emotions. With one organization we did an emotional intelligence baseline and unearthed some issues of communication, trust, and respect before even starting a Lean transformation. The project is still on going but the culture is improving and once we can clear up any communication, trust, and respect issue we can move forward with a full Lean implementation.

How does your company tackle it’s emotional intelligence? Do you have a baseline test? If you would like a baseline test please contact us.

Related Posts;
The Missing Link To Lean Six Sigma – Emotional Intelligence
Friday Factoid – What Motivates Employees
Motivating Employees Without Money
Motivating Employees Without Money – The Psychology Of Behavior Change


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