How One Person Can Change the Reliability Culture

Fred Schenkelberg
3 min readApr 1, 2021

How One Person Can Change the Reliability Culture

Nicholas W. Eyrich, Robert E. Quinn, and David P. Fessell published in the Harvard Business Review an article titled “How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization”, dated December 27, 2019. In the article, they discuss how corporate transformations, while assumed to occur from the top-down, actually it is the middle managers and first-line supervisor that can make significant change happen.

They look at what it takes for one person to make a significant change within an organization. As reliability or quality professionals, we often have the opportunity to spot needed changes. It is then up to us to tackle those challenges to make the change happen.

Change starts with one person

You, a single person, can initiate and make change happen. You can improve the reliability of your product or system. It starts with having a clear intent and goal concerning the improvement. And, it starts with the willingness to speak up about the need to make that change to achieve the improvement.

Why do we run this test when no one uses the results? Including the ramification on system reliability when shifting to a new vendor may help us avoid reliability issues later. Why are we just reacting to failures rather than preventing them? Needless to say, these are just a few ideas that any one of you may identify with just a quick review of your program.

Be clear, speak up, ask questions. Find others that support your idea to make an improvement. Find and start implementing solutions as you work to make the change that improves reliability performance.

Build your skill one challenge at a time

It is rare that your first step into solving a challenge that makes a difference will significantly shift the culture of your organization. Yet, by taking on such challenges, even small ones, helps t hone your ability to identify and overcome the challenges that occur when proposing a change in the way we do things.

Routinely working to make improvements, you get better at crafting your message, rallying support, and overcoming the…

Fred Schenkelberg

Reliability Engineering and Management Consultant focused on improving product reliability and increasing equipment availability.