Tribal Knowledge in Quality Magazine

A manufacturing plant may have formed three different tribes: each with its own language, customs and traditions. This can lead to dramatic operating efficiency differences from one shift to the next, and can affect all levels of a plant’s operation from production scheduling to staffing.  And, when tribal knowledge becomes so focused on the needs of the tribe or shift and not the overall business needs of the organization, changes are forcefully resisted. So what happens when the rollout of a new product creates the need to transform operating culture of an entire plant?  This article lays out the answers to these questions in the context of an actual case for the national rollout of a new product line for a large global beverage company. Additionally, it provides proven concepts of how to use tribal knowledge to encourage innovation.

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