Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Author Archive
Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Goals and means to achieve superior performance

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Monday, January 11, 2010
Goals and means have to go together. Either one without the other does not lead to lasting improvements. To do this managers need to work together to dig down to the underlying root causes of the often vaguely defined performance gaps facing the organisation. Understanding these root causes helps everyone to focus on closing the vital few gaps that will make the biggest difference to the organisation, its customers and its employees. At which point someone can be given the responsibility for gaining agreement across the organisation using the evidence based, scientific method to implement and test the right countermeasures ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Goal setting through Hoshin Kanri

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010
The answer is a qualified yes.  In fact Toyota has an annual goal setting process called hoshin kanri and the office of the CFO is very involved in setting the financial targets for the corporation.  They are then cascaded down throughout the world at all levels and there are regular reviews of progress through the year.  They almost always hit the targets.  My qualification is that Toyota has worked really, really hard to develop the capability to deliver on those targets.  The key is the capability of the people and the process to deliver.  Toyota has invested heavily in that ...

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Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Lean has to be “win-win-win”

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
There is no doubt that employees very much prefer to work in a lean organisation. When you hear them say “we would never want to go back to the old ways” you know that at least this part of the organisation is serious about lean. If lean is misused as a fig leaf for crude cost cutting you know it will go backwards in a hurry – it is difficult to misuse lean for long. But that does not mean that employee involvement is all there is to lean – or that it is all plain sailing – far from it. ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: If the goal is excellence then people will be stretched and it will not always be pleasant.

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I just happened to be working on yet another book in the Toyota Way series when I got this question. The book, called The Toyota Way to Excellence, is about the journey to lean by organizations outside Toyota. Believe it or not I was in the midst of writing a section called "managing change is political." Politics is the use or abuse of power. Whether it is viewed as use or abuse depends on the perspective and interests of who is doing the viewing. To lean change agents who are trying to help the organization ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: lean is not “mean”

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, December 6, 2009
In some ways the word "lean" was an unfortunate choice and in other ways a brilliant choice.  The intention was that a lean person is healthy in a holistic way--muscles in the right place, all organs functioning properly, able to hold up to intense exercise and even hostile environmental conditions.  It is a great metaphor for what the flexible, adaptable, solid to the core company should be like.  Company executives that treat lean as mean and use the tools to shed people, the source of the company's health, are either delusional or do not really care about how the company performs in ...

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