Once you have identified an improvement, Linda warns, “the hardest part about it is, even if we do get some brilliant insight, how do we get people to change?” This is where the soft skills of leadership become important because “so much of this job is more about the psychology of change, getting people motivated, getting them to understand,” she says.
“Listening is a very important skill,” Linda says. “You have to find out what drives people, what motivates them, what’s compelling and makes them want to do what I need them to do.” The insight gained from listening to the engineering perspective which will ultimately be implementing the change will help to identify solutions which make the process of adopting a change through a Lean initiative easier for everyone.
Linda Snow-Solum is a leader at Rockwell Collins and in the community. At Rockwell Collins, she is the Senior Director of Engineering Infrastructure Development & Lean. Linda also serves on the board of Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) and recently finished her term as President of Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS). She is also a member of SWE-ECI.