“A few years ago I was talking with the CEO of a large US corporation about Lean management. I asked him about establishing a culture of continuous improvement in his business that employed over 25,000 people in eight locations around the world. His answer blew me away; he said ‘We completed that project last year.’
… the enormous business benefits gained from fostering the talent and creativity of employees and empowering them to make continuous improvements. Continuous improvement can have an enormous positive impact on any business … Continuous improvement is a critical aspect of a Lean business that has no chance to survive and sustain unless it exists within a culture of respect for the ideas of all employees.
… Foster and promote creative thought – ‘how can we do this better?’, ‘how can we improve?’, ‘how do way stay ahead of the competition?’. If this culture of empowerment is created, it will in turn create a culture of improvement. New ideas will flow, innovations will materialize, and change will ensue. …
Continuous improvement is not a project that was completed last year. It is the result of continuous and consistent leadership culture that promotes empowerment of every employee. The employees will create the improvement, leadership must create and sustain a culture where it will survive and grow. This is what it means to be Lean.”