Lean Leadership

Leading in the Lean Enterprise –
Standard Work for Leaders Workshop

Companies in many industries have struggled with the application of Lean Thinking to their operations.  Even more challenging is to sustain the benefits that have been realized by the application of various lean concepts such as flow, pull, and workplace organization.  The question that must be asked is, why is sustaining so difficult?  The key to the successful application of Lean is to recognize that it requires a change in the “culture” of an organization – a change in the way the organization acts, interacts, communicates and makes decisions.  Further, it is the leadership of an organization that determines its culture.  However, few people in leadership roles truly understand what it takes to lead in the Lean Enterprise.  Few organizations adequately prepare their leaders for the new role that is often required.  This leads to companies placing unfair expectations on people in these roles, frustration on the part of all parties involved, and typically a reversion to old and familiar practices.

To lead in the Lean Enterprise, people must abandon traditional “command and control” management practices, and practice “facilitative leadership”.  They must understand and accept all aspects that the new role involves – most importantly maintaining standard work practices, and focusing on continuous improvement.  All roads will ultimately lead to leaders working with their natural work groups to drive continuous improvement over time.  Further, there must be consistency in the leadership approach, and the practical activities performed by people in leadership roles.  In other words, there must be standard work for leaders.  Standard work is a foundation concept of Lean Thinking.

As part of this workshop, a “Lean Management System” (LMS) will be created by and for the leaders within the organization.  Included will be Leader Standard Work (LSW) for each participant, and a Visual Management System (VMS) that they will use to help them manage and improve their areas of responsibility over time.  LSW will contain specific activities expected to be performed by the leaders, along with procedures to complete each.  These will include, but not be limited to: performing Gemba walks, conducting 5S audits, facilitating team ‘huddles’, performing ‘Daily Management’, monitoring performance, and employee communications.

In addition, a review of the necessary skills for the Lean Leader will be provided including: planning and organizing, communication, trust development, observation, motivation, and providing direction.  The Lean Leader must be able to teach and coach others.  This is accomplished by applying the simple, time tested techniques known as Training Within Industries (TWI) including the “J’s” (JI, JM, and JR).  Continuous Improvement and employee training will be part of the LMS.  Participants will select a problem or process performance ‘gap’ that they will address through a prescribed process (e.g. A3s) while working with their natural work teams.  The result will be a clear understanding of each participant’s role, and how to fulfill it.  The rest comes with practice.

This application workshop is appropriate for anyone in a leadership role.  It is typically customized for each organization and as a result its duration can vary from 24 to 48 hours.

Change Management Associates
31 Lexington Court, Mount Laurel NJ 08054
Tele: 856-235-8051 • Website: cma4results.com