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
Archives by Tag 'business'
Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Metrics create a focus for the company so changes lead to meaningful business results

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Monday, January 28, 2013
I agree for the most part with the observations of my colleagues.  Summary:  "You get what you measure" translates into "Let's measure what we think we want and we will get it."  There are two problems.    First, we often cannot measure what we want.  We want engagement, we want people to pay close attention to quality and safety, we want engagement, we want people to produce more in less time, we want people to product just what the customer wants, etc.  Each of the measures is a proxy for what we really want.  With many measures and pressure people work ...

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Steven Spear

Steve Spear: The key differentiator is what leadership thinks it need accomplish: redesign of processes others use to conduct their business or acquisition of capability that they can cultivate, propagate, and engage energetically

By Steven Spear, - Last updated: Friday, January 4, 2013
What role a kaizen promotion office plays depends on what problem you are trying to solve.  Is it to make a single change in process design and performance or it is to change the ramp-slope at which an organization discovers its way to greatness? For the former, organizations might want to stabilize otherwise chaotic processes--both those that are physically transformative and also those that are administrative.  Doing so has the obvious benefits of moving from the low performance plateau of disarray to the higher performing plateau of increased  efficiency and effectiveness. In that ...

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Arthur Byrne

Art Byrne: If the CEO sees lean as a business strategy, he/she will involve sales from day one

By Arthur Byrne, - Last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012
the answer to your question has to go deeper than just trying to explain “why lean has failed to capture the imagination of the sales team”. The issue isn’t so much sales but rather a lack of understanding of lean. If you think of lean as “some manufacturing thing”, and probably 95% of all companies and CEO’s view it this way then this should not be surprising. Heck, lean is most commonly called “lean manufacturing” so even manufacturing companies are confused about what lean really is. Lean is a business strategy. You can think of it as a time based ...

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Klaus Petersen: From silo based-organization to business processes?

By , - Last updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012
"What are the five major things we need to do to help us successfully transform a silo based organisation into one focused on business processes, and what are the biggest risks we need to look out for?"
Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis: Our business & professional schools teach us to think in a way inimical to learning

By Pascal Dennis, - Last updated: Monday, April 9, 2012
Why Are Learning Organizations So Scarce? A billion dollar question... There are many root causes, which my Lean Edge colleagues will no doubt explore at length. Here's one that I find compelling: Our business & professional schools teach us to think in a way inimical to learning. Here are some of the mental models I picked up at engineering and business schools: 1) We are very smart and successful 2) We can manage from a distance, by the numbers. Corollary: What can front line people possibly teach us? 3) Everything wraps up nicely -- just like an MBA case study. 4) Problems are bad things -- smart, successful managers like us shouldn't have problems! 5) ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: A Lean Leader strengthens the business by developing people through coaching process improvement at the gemba

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Saturday, March 3, 2012
A Lean Leader strengthens the business by developing people through coaching process improvement at the gemba. When we think of a traditional leader with adjectives like charismatic, decisive, visionary, inspiring, tough, bold, and transformational.  This is a western interpretation of the leader as the individual who changes the game, turns the company around, makes the tough decisions, and gets results, results, results.  When we see results, and especially when we see a turnaround in the performance of a company, it is the CEO who gets interviewed and talked about.  It is understandable that Western leaders have big egos since they are ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Lean opens new avenues for business results, but it sometimes hard to know in advance what those benefits will be

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
First, I want to reinforce Orry's points that there are short-term gains and long-term gains.  The most obvious short-term gains that many companies will accept are labor reductions and then only if you send these people out the door on layoff.  That is self defeating and will kill the incredible potential for operational excellence to change the business strategy.  In reality, even in companies that reduce labor significantly in percent terms it usually happens in scattered areas of the company so for the bottom line it does not have a big impact on total cost of the company.  Unless you ...

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Orry Fiume

Orry Fiume: Lean is a Business Strategy

By Orry Fiume, - Last updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The way we approached it at Wiremold was to realize that what we call Lean is not an improvement program, not a manufacturing tactic, not a cost reduction tool, but is a strategy.  The purpose of any strategy (lean or otherwise) is to createsustainable competitive advantage. Lean does that by allowing an organization to differentiate itself in the market place through operational excellence.  We realized that if we could reduce the lead time in the market for giving quotes, delivering product, introducing new products, etc, so that we were substantially better than our competition (90%+), we could achieve a competitive ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Program vs System: Lean’s ambition is to propose a full business model, not just a productivity improvement program

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010
A few years ago, at the first French Lean Summit, one participant would stand up at the end of every presentation and ask “what about six sigma? Couldn’t this be done better with six sigma?” – until José Ferro, President of the Lean Institute Brasil answered with his incomparable charm that he didn’t feel competent to answer, having never worked with six sigma, but that the Toyota veterans he knew absolutely hated six sigma for its anti-teamwork spirit. The idea of having a green belt or black belt present to senior management the work of an entire team, he explained, ...

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