Lead lean by being lean

By Jim Luckman via http://www.lean.org/   Article

“Those who are most excited about engaging in a lean transformation must look to themselves: they are often the ones who inhibit the process. They do so by failing to model the change they want to see. … they struggle to create a lean culture that takes root. I believe this is because they are only “applying Lean” to the organization rather than “becoming lean” as an organization. …

Become the Inspiration and the Facilitator

Become a learner. … the difference between knowers, who spend time focusing on what they know and can tell others, and learners, who are observers that seek to learn from a situation. … Ask questions like: Is the conversation a discussion, debate, or dialogue? Is there trust and safety in the culture? Keeping a focus on the interactions among people, instead of individuals, is an underlying principle to living the lean transformation.

Create a respectful relationship with your employees. Listen to the problem situation from their perspective to demonstrate that you care. Start with humble, open-ended questions aimed at trying to understand their thinking about the situation and their approach to solving their problems. Resist the temptation to impose your knowledge and your thinking. …

Create a problem solving culture. Help everyone to see that problem solving thinking is more effective than solutions thinking. … Most organizations throw solutions at problems with no clear understanding of what is causing the problem. …

Structure the learning through regular PDCA cycles. … The discipline of conducting regular PDCA cycles of learning is something leaders must model. Learning how to facilitate these reflection sessions will create a safe environment for exposing the real problems and addressing them.”


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