Reliability Leadership is all about Ownership

The latest trend in maintenance and reliability is to take shortcuts. This approach, which rarely succeeds, often is determined at the senior leadership level and without the knowledge necessary to make the right decision. Eventually, these leaders will be forced to choose whether they wish to remain victims of their bad decision or take ownership and repair the damage. This session will outline what maintenance and reliability professionals can do to educate their organizations to prevent these types of failed approaches. You will learn not only how to have these discussions but win them. We will discuss why all reliability efforts must start with qualified leaders and owners, and what it takes to be an owner and not a victim.

The lack of representation of true reliability management personnel on the Top Management Team (TMT) is driving poor reliability. This includes a lot of the research that I have relied on in writing both my books and my dissertation. I think it is important for us to understand what is meant by true leadership. I ask that you bear with me and listen to what it is that I am saying as it is related to leadership. Most of us do not get to spend 14 years of our lives researching leadership, so this summary will catch you up on that research in just a few minutes. It is impossible to lead your organization in its transformation with a transactional leadership style.

The fact that reliability can account for 40-60% of an organization’s budget and manpower is not weighed when selecting the TMT. Reliability is usually represented in the TMT by operational managers. The focus of operational managers is production. The mindset of a reliability manager is production capacity. In most organizations’ reliability is not considered a part of the organization’s strategic planning or competitive strength equation. Most organizations’ TMT spends less than three or four percent of its time considering reliability issues. When they do, they concentrate on the cost and not the management of this key part of the company’s overall success.

When a company is looking for waste within its operation, the TMT does not realize that its creativity would be better spent concentrating on reliability problems and how it is operating its equipment. Organizational reports focus on profits while reliability is lost in the maze of other costs. Companies look to the obvious: airlines look to the number of seats sold and schedule compliance, hotels look to the number of rooms sold each night, schools look to enrollment, and manufacturing firms look to units produced. Buried in all of this is the cost to keep the planes flying and on schedule, the rooms suitable for occupancy, the environment suitable for the students to learn in, and the equipment necessary to produce the units defect free, is maintenance and reliability. The value-added potential of true reliability management can have a significant influence on the bottom line.

This is where the lack of the TMT reliability background is detrimental to the company’s overall effectiveness. There is more to reliability management than just costs, and that is where representation by an operations manager falls short. Despite their overwhelming qualifications, why do corporations fail to view reliability management as a resource for the Top Management Team?

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Transformational Performance Solutions, LLC

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