TRACC Community Webinar Q&A: Your leader standard work questions answered

Hosted by Alex Cosgrove, Director of Operations, CCi Europe and Luke Arnold, Head of Business Units, Weetabix, our recent TRACC Community Webinar Leader Standard Work: Building Behaviors that drive bottom-line results (held on 14 July 2020) attracted almost 400 attendees from organizations across the globe. The speakers explained how Leader Standard Work (LSW) can help you sustain your CI gains, particularly in these challenging times; they also offered practical advice for developing the habits and behaviors that drive CI success.

Here’s a recap of some of the questions asked during the Q&A portion of the webinar, as well as a selection of bonus questions that our speakers addressed after the event.


Generally, people don’t want to change; how can we encourage people to change?

Alex Cosgrove: “Change has to be driven top-down and led by example; what’s important to my boss is very important to me. Onboarding is critical to communicating the reasons for the change; start small and show the benefits. Recognizing and rewarding the behaviors around finding the root cause of a problem, rather than firefighting, is key.”


How can we help leaders have enough humility to accept that they need to learn these new behaviors? Sometimes leaders struggle to recognize they should also take part in the learning journey.

Alex Cosgrove: “Organizational surveys will give leaders feedback on their current leadership style; this will normally trigger some considered action. Being a humble leader is key to a lean leadership style; you never stop learning.”


How can an organization begin to implement LSW?

Alex Cosgrove: “Focus on the process – identify a critical process standard that is key, determine the success of the process, create the standard and build LSW from that point.”


How do we stop LSW from becoming a ‘tick the box’ exercise?

Alex Cosgrove: “It starts with mindset – leadership culture must engender the idea that LSW is the way to make a difference; once you believe that, it will stop being a ‘tick the box’ exercise.”


How do you balance LSW with unplanned meetings?

Alex Cosgrove: “Discipline – don’t accept unplanned meetings; LSW has to be the lead.”


How often does LSW need to be reviewed per tier of the organization?

Luke Arnold: “It changes at each level of the organization, but you need to be very careful you don’t change the process too often. So, for example, at the executive level, you should have two strategy reviews per annum to understand if the strategic direction of the organization is being met. At each tier, with the exception of the executive level, everything else should be picked up within quarterly review for tier 4 and tier 3, and the daily operational review should be picked up within the weekly operational review when you’re determining how often to change the process.”


When would be the best time to expand LSW to central functions that support operational plants? Is it best to do it in conjunction with operational LSW development or to first stabilize operational LSW and then align the rest of the supply chain functions?

Alex Cosgrove: “The support functions must also think about the value-add; how they can contribute. If LSW is new to the organization, always start where the value is added and grow from there. If you have established it already, then there is no time barrier.”


At Weetabix, do you correlate LSW accomplishments with the leaders’ performance reviews?

Luke Arnold: “Yes, we have two LSW reviews in our cadence. We review it as part of our monthly KPI review under morale. We set a realistic target of 80% adherence to standard work for all leadership team members. We recognize there are always events that derail what we aim to complete. As we complete the reviews per manufacturing plant, we discuss why we have not achieved above 80% standard work then agree on what escalation is required to improve adherence. Standard work is also a goal that is cascaded to leaders as part of their individual performance review. This is more aimed at the ‘how’ with regard to leading by example.”


For more leader standard work insights, watch the webinar on demand here.