Are you a LEAN manager? Do you have a LEAN structure in your top management group? Did you apply LEAN when you created your organisation chart? Is LEAN anchored in your top management? Are you LEAN in the communication with your team? Do you apply LEAN to your own way of working?
LEAN is a philosophy of continuous improvement by reducing waste. Very often we tend to implement LEAN in parts of the organisation that focuses on producing a product or a service. What about the top management?
In order to implement LEAN successfully in the organisation, management has to support the process and walk the talk. The whole management team needs to know what the organisation is doing and getting trained to follow up internal initiatives. Managers needs to ask questions in order to assist in finding optimal ways of organising the delivery.
To enhance the effect of LEAN, the structure should be set strategically to improve business results. Traditionally we organise the company according to the resources in the organisation. To set the structure, the management team should rather focus on the needs of the clients and adapt the organisation to the production or service flow.
…and when you set the structure, don’t forget to LEAN the top management structure – too often there is a lot of LEAN focus in the lower part of the organisation and too little at the top. This is valid both for the structure as well as for having a LEAN management process.
To obtain change in your team, all team members have to change their way of thinking – including you as a Manager. You have to go through the processes and how people work together with your team members. In addition, it is as important to go through your personal way of working and your management processes.
If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing – W.Edwards Deming
It is always easier to pinpoint where others can improve. Still it is important to lead by example. As a manager you produce support, structure and service to your team members. Do you have a LEAN approach? Most managers can easily reduce the amount of mails, the number of hours in meetings, the number of unfruitful conversations….up to you to make the rest of the list!
LEAN management is having a clear and understandable way of leading your team. How you communicate should definitely be included in the overall LEAN strategy in the company. Meetings should have a structure, personnel conversations should be focused and the whole organisation should get information on a regular basis. The LEAN process should certainly also be applied to all your management communication.
When the whole organisation thinks LEAN – you have achieved to create a LEAN company culture focusing on continuous improvement. LEAN then becomes a learning culture and not only a structured methodology. All learning organisation takes time on a regular basis to evaluate what works and what can be improved. Innovation and applying new technologies should also be an important part of the improving processes.
Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident – Abdul Kalam
LEAN should not only be an internal process. Involve your suppliers and clients whenever possible to have a look at the total process. Integrating your LEAN company culture with your quality management system is an excellent way of showing your clients that you provide what they need – with quality .…and should you want to document your excellency, the way to an ISO 9001:2015 certification will be easy!
Philosophy drives attitude. Attitude drives actions. Actions drive results. Results drive lifestyles – Jim Rohn
Good luck with creating a LEAN culture in your company!