You’re Doing Too Much!

By Becky Ferrell


You’re working with your organization to implement a much-needed process.  No matter how hard you train, no matter how much you press, push, demand, cajole…it’s just not getting implemented.

Each shift, you work with your personnel. And every night you go home without the process in place. Now you’re starting to wake-up during the night thinking about other ways you can force this into your organization. The loss of sleep is simply adding to your stress and frustration.

I’ve got news for you…you can’t.


WHAT????!!!!!!  No, you just don’t understand! This process is needed, required, essential, (you pick the word), and I just can’t let this go!  It MUST….


Whoa! Stop. Take a deep breath!


I didn’t say you COULDN’T implement it…. I said you couldn’t FORCE it.


Let me take a few minutes to impart to you some “Cowboy Logic.”


OK, I can see your face: some WHAT???  What does a COWBOY know about manufacturing?


Well, honestly, probably not much.  But what he does know is the best way to implement (train) a horse.

Ready to listen?


Cowboys understand the harder you push a horse, the harder it will push back. Push too hard, and you’ll get a reaction somewhere between obstinance or balking and a full-blown explosion. While this forcing method MAY eventually work on some horses, what you’ll end up with generally is a sullen, dull response. Not the willing, light response you want from your mount.

So, what do successful Cowboys do? They do LESS.

I see those raised eyebrows. Yes, they do less. They lighten the pressure and instead put the horse in the right position or environment where it’s much easier to give you the response you want than do anything else. As they work with the horse, over time the horse begins to understand the desired response and give it more and more consistently. After a while, it becomes second nature to the horse and its response is light and willing. This doesn’t mean a drill. Training should always be varied and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the environment and situations.

Does it take longer? Yep. But the results are solid and consistent.


How does this translate to manufacturing?

If your personnel are not responding, back off. Pressing harder is NOT working. Seek opportunities where the process you seek to implement naturally fits. If the process is right, the results will speak volumes more to your personnel than your repeated lectures. Continue to work with these opportunities, reinforcing (gently) the lessons learned from proper use of the process.


What you’ll end up with is a process well-implemented, thoroughly understood, and second nature to the organization…with a lot less frustration.

How did I learn this? From a wise, old Cowboy, of course, who explained simply to me that if what I was doing with my horse was not working then I needed to do less!

No matter what discipline you’re working in, no matter what movie you’re watching, look for the gems that can help you implement or train your workforce. You’ll be surprised how a one-liner or saying can impact your approach to the business!


Are you struggling to identify needed processes or implement them? Let the team at High Value Manufacturing help. While manufacturing is the lifeblood of the staff, each of us brings unique experiences and approaches to solving our clients’ toughest issues. Reach out to set up a time to talk through the ways we can help.



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