Most western organizations are organized according to functions and expertise. They have a top management in charge of the strategic level in the company and workers in charge actionable level of the business. Between these levels, we have the supervisors in charge of building a bridge between the strategic level and the actionable level.
Frontline supervisors are vitally important, as they are the first real intersection linking the employee, management, and the customer.
The frontline supervisors is therefore the key position to shape and mold the strategy of the company into daily actions. To do this they need to have a clear sense of the WHY of the company. All too often, we see that the actionable level has too little knowledge of the values and strategies of the organization.
They shape the perception of your organization, but more than that, because they make up the bulk of your management personnel, they carry out the values you establish as key to your organization.
One of the main reasons for this is that the frontline supervisors has too little knowledge of the values and strategies of the organization. Another reason is that many supervisors lack the tools and knowledge of how to translate the strategies into daily actions. This indicates that the supervisors need to be recognized and trained for leading people on one side and that we need a system to convert values into replicable actions. Hoshin Kanri is such a system.
Thru a Hoshin Kanri system, the strategy of the organization is broken down actionable activities. In this way the top management decides the direction of the organization, middle management create a plan to make this come alive and the workers carries out the plan. Top management needs feedback from the workers on problems and challenges to make good decisions on the directions of the organization. In this way, direction is send from top management thru middle management to the workers. Moreover, feedback is send back upstream thru middle management to top management. Hence creating a living organism to support and drive the WHY of the organization into replicable actions. Where middle management has a key role in building a bridge between top management and workers, between strategy and action. And the Frontline supervisors has a vital role in making a connection between the customers and top management.