Why your plant is like a rock band

April 9, 2018
Tom Moriarty says stay in tune and don’t let competing egos threaten the harmony of your organization.

I have a neighbor, Tim, who is a talented bass guitarist. Not long ago, he got together with three other performers to form a band. In addition to Tim, the band has a lead guitarist, a drummer, and a vocalist. They’ve been playing together for only a short time.

But if you’re in a plant situation where the team can’t find its sound, the issue is much bigger. I’ve talked before about silos and how they cause inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Like a band, each group within an organization has an important role to play. If it didn’t have a significant role to play, that part of the organization would be dissolved.

Without operations, you can’t produce products or services. Without sales and marketing, you won’t have enough customers to produce for. If you don’t have support services, operations can’t produce, and sales and marketing won’t have good products or services to sell. 

As with a band, the organization must have stated objectives that everyone buys into and that stay consistent over time. As with a band, each member of the organization must recognize and respect the necessity and contributions of other members of the team. 

Start with a strategic plan. State the mission, vision, and core values. The mission provides organizational objectives. The vision states what you aspire to be. Core values identify the need to respect and relate to each other. Next, define roles and responsibilities for each entity so it and others can be reminded of the importance of each function. 

Strategic plans and roles and responsibilities are critical to organizational success. If you lack experience in creating these documents, hire some help to get educated. You can’t make great music without them.

About the Author

Tom Moriarty | P.E., CMRP, President of Alidade MER, Inc.

Tom Moriarty, P.E., CMRP is president of Alidade MER, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in asset management, reliability engineering, and leadership improvement. He is a member of SMRP (Florida Chapter Board Member and CED Director), a past Chair of ASME’s Canaveral Florida Section, and author of the book “The Productive Leadership System; Maximizing Organizational Reliability”. He has a BSME, an MBA (organizational development), is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Florida, and a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP). Contact him at [email protected], (321) 773-3356, or via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alidade-mer.

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