By William Seidman Lecturing employees on what’s good for them or telling them how they need to do something differently is likely to end in resistance. In sharp contrast, the new science of Fair Process tells us that when change is presented in ways that increase listeners’ dignity and self-respect, people listen more and adopt the change more quickly. Fair Process gathers input and makes decision-making visible. For example, a standard Fair Process approach to changing a manufacturing system might begin with the leadership team meeting with small groups of managers, workers and foremen to explain the conditions in the marketplace and ask for suggestions. The leadership team would make sure everyone understood that their suggestions would be compared to the suggestions of other groups and considered seriously. Next, the comments would be compiled and presented to all of the employees with a plan based on their suggestions to implement the changes. The employees would set up teams that included workers, foremen and managers to plan and implement the necessary changes. Fair process stresses participation and lots of communication. However, this kind of inclusion and transparency isn’t what makes Fair Process so powerful. Fair process is not a technique, but a way of being—a cultural value. When a company’s leadership truly believes in fair process, receptivity to new ideas and change initiatives increases exponentially. Fair Process is an organization’s attitude of respect toward all participants, and it enhances their sense of personal dignity and honor.]]>

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