Quality Work: Shoot for the Moon

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to motivate quality behavior. Reading time 3:07.

      She shimmered in the window. Her sleeky figure caught his eye instantly. Then she did something even he wasn’t quite prepared for. She dropped her pants and mooned him!

   hula “Now I knew right then that I just had to have her,” the guy beamed. Oh how vulgar you say. How boorish! How crude and lude. What a A louse!

      No not really. What a leader! Stay with me here.

      He was eyeing a 12-inch hula doll shimmering in the window of a novelty store that he happened to pass. He went inside to investigate and learned that the doll came with with an air pump. You pump and she plumps her pants right down to her derrier – a “shoot-the-moon” demonstration that always seemed to turn heads, widen eyes and flare smiles.

     a shoot moonThe manufacturing plant leader saw the shoot-the-moon hula doll as a key to driving quality production, albeit even though the leader knew the prop was less than proper, especially in a male-dominated manufacturing facility. However he also had a stellar reputation for treating all employees with dignity and respect.

     The leader first met with the women employees in the plant and explained why he wanted to use the prop. He asked for their feedback.Some complained that it was sexist and made “women out to be objects not people”  but the majority thought it was “cute” and they encouraged the plant manager to go ahead with the hula doll shoot-the-moon campaign. But next time some women noted the plant manager should look for a  male doll stripper for his prop. Point noted he said.

      At any rate, all 700 production employees pulled together and reached an unprecedented goal, completing 100 days of perfect schedules and 100 days of perfect quality. That goals was so high it was like shooting for the moon.

    So the manufacturing plant leaders made sure his 700 employees stayed focused on the shoot-for-the-moon goal. He had the doll positioned in his glass enclosed office in the middle of the plant so that everyone could see her hula skirt swaying as they walked by.

     Periodically, the manufacturing leader would grab that air pump. And the doll did the rest. She dropped her underpants and shoot the moon just as someone was walking by his office. Everyone would laugh.

        But more importantly the doll helped everyone to stay focused to achieve their goal. They did shoot for the moon and achieved the goal of perfection in both schedule and quality for over 100 days.

     He had buttons made up that said “Shoot the Moon.” He passed them out to everybody. When you did something extra special you got stars on your “Shoot the Moon” button—star just like the stars that football players wear on their helmets for great performance.

     Of course, the sexist demonstration maybe totally inappropriate in your manufacturing setting today, but the strategic intent is still valid. Look for novelty items and pique your imagination to create incentive programs for your employees. Maybe even something shimmering in a window.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Find novelty items to motivate quality behavior
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