LINGO: a different way of doing things

Innovation, ingenuity and communication, the key pieces of one of the most powerful Minsur initiatives that has allowed a better adaptation to these new times.

We spoke with Diego Molina, Director of Transformation, to know more about LINGO and about its contributions to the company’s business strategy and operations, particularly in the context of the national and global health emergency. The implementation of Lean Management processes and methodologies in the management across all mine units and corporate offices has allowed a smoother transition towards the “new normal”.

In what ways has LINGO helped the company since its creation and implementation?

By the end of 2019, the executive team had been discussing the need to rethink the way we work in the mining units, and planning how that could be applied to the rest of the company. This would empower the different teams; allowing decisions to be made closer to the line of action, more efficiently and accurately.

Thus, we started this management program in the company.  Coincidentally, the pandemic caught us during the initial phase. This was definitely a challenge, since many of the tasks involve working very closely with people.

Did this make the job more difficult?

The benefits that LINGO brought to the Pisco smelter were replicated in the rest of the company. Workin with the transformation team, we were able to establish a more agile way of doing things. Thanks to this, the concept behind LINGO became more apparent to the workforce.

There was an effort to train the organization in what it means to work more effectively and efficiently and how to focus on the most relevant points. We also train facilitators at each of the company’s instances. This allowed them to have a more proactive attitude in managing those spaces.

There was also a transition process of transferring those capacities and implementing them to strengthen ownership in the same actors of those instances rather than in an assigned team like us.

Do you think that the decision to promote LINGO in the organization has been put to the test? What has worked? What hasn’t?

We have been able to test this cross-cutting way of working during the pandemic, letting us confirm whether it was worth the effort. This was definitely the case and this confirmation has allowed us to dispel any doubts that might have existed. Our decision to go for LINGO as our new way of working has been reassured and strengthened.

When we returned to the field in Pisco, after the initial weeks of the pandemic, success was much more noticeable. It was then where it was possible to highlight the enormous effect that these changes could have on the results. This was reflected not only in the production line, but also in a mindset in our leadership; to have no limits and dream big.

What other learnings has the LINGO model brought?

It sparked an interest for more digital initiatives for the company. Something that also emerged during the pandemic was the creation of a Digital Transformation Management, which goes well beyond initiatives focused on protecting the health of our workers.

It is important to note that as an organization we have always had a more of a hierarchical approach for our decision making process. Often, it is difficult to prove the business case because you have to see it, run tests. It is not so easy to extrapolate and confirm results from other processes that are not necessarily yours. But we have been working on moving to another type of mindset and understanding that the cost of not innovating is much higher than that of failed experiments.