DON'T BELIEVE IN FATE - CONTROL IT The Journey To Business Excellence
The Journey To Lean
Lean is not a new concept. These days most manufacturing facilities, many service companies and several public services have been introduced to the power of these tools. Many organizations claim to be using lean and several consulting firms offer implementations.
Toyota freely opens its doors to those wanting to learn their famous Toyota Production System. Yet few companies demonstrate the sustained benefits of Toyota. Many leaders are astounded at the quick hits, minimal cost and team engagement they achieve when introducing the tools. Yet most organization see processes quickly drift back to old habits - even within a few days! For all the training and energy that companies have invested in lean, the results are most commonly short lived and disappointing. A tour of the facility yields little evidence of lean.
The true power and discipline of lean goes much deeper than learning a few tools. Experts state that lean demands a refocus of work performed at every level of the organization, that success requires a commitment to disciplined observation, continuous learning, intolerance of waste and radical change.
My first full week as a manager for a tier-one supplier to Toyota consisted of re-training in the Toyota Production System. In spite of my lean skills and awareness, every team member is required to experience this event. It’s not learning some tools and skills. It’s introducing the way the work is done here. Its learning the culture. Every team member is expected to work on improving how we do the work. Operational improvements are made through people, never to people.
You’ve probable heard that implementing lean is a journey. At Toyota’s Lexus facilities, it is characterized as the relentless pursuit of perfection.
Firefighting is normal at many organizations. Firefighting is a tell tale sign that your processes are unstable. The heros in these organizations are the people putting out fires. Some people just want to be heros.
In lean transformations we put systems in place to prevent the fires. We stop production so production never stops again. We track the interrupts to the process so we can understand how your system is broken. Then we fix the system. Its no-ones fault - its never about blame. The people doing the work are accountable to improve the way the work is done. The heros in lean are those that implement change for the better. These changes are recognized, cheered, celebrated and shared.
Perhaps you’ve been introduced to lean in your organization. Perhaps you’ve achieved some wins and are progressing with the tools. Perhaps you've reached a block to moving forward or have even fallen back and lost some gains. Wherever you are in your journey to lean, I’d be delighted to talk about how we can help moving forward. Feel free to contact us using the numbers listed below.
The key to moving forward with lean is taking action. Nike says "Just-Do-It". Right now, you can take the next step in moving your implementation forward with some concrete action. Simply click the button below.
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