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 'change'
Karen Martin

Karen Martin: Realizing there is space for change

By Karen Martin, - Last updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Interesting question (especially the first one) and one that all consultants and internal improvement leaders wrestle with (or should be wrestling with). In my experience, any type of personal behavior change starts with awareness that the current behavior may not be the most effective choice to yield whatever result is desired. Getting clear on the target condition is key. Then identify the gap and root causes for it. Then experiment with potential countermeasures. You know the drill. In my experience, many “traditional managers” don't realize that alternative forms of management exist. So I typically begin in a more fact-based, ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Talk to them until they change or leave

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, August 3, 2014
Difficult question, and I’m not sure I have answer. I guess the place to start is clarify what “competent” means. To my mind, a competent person: Agrees on basic job role and responsibilities: not always obvious, for instance, the salesperson in a company I know considers his role is to respond to request for quotations from customers, whereas his CEO would like to see him do some cold calling as well. The sales guy simply won’t hear about it? Does it make him incompetent even though he does fairly well at replying to customers when they contact the company? I think ...

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The Lean Edge

The Lean Edge: How do you change a standard?

By The Lean Edge, - Last updated: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Standards are often described as 'the best way known to perform a certain task'. Using Job Instructions, people are trained to work according to standards. Kaizen can then be used to improve standards. In this case the 'best way' has changed. Does this mean everybody needs to be retrained ...

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Arthur Byrne

Art Byrne: First link the logical value streams through product families, then get change over times under 10 mins

By Arthur Byrne, - Last updated: Saturday, October 13, 2012
I assume that the parts made in the press shop are being consumed in the assembly shop. We had the same situation when I first joined Wiremold. We knew we wanted to get to a flow operation starting with the presses and going all the way to the finished box. We had a painting operation in between so it was even  a little more complicated. Where you want to go is to move the assembly operations to the ends of the presses so that parts can be finished from raw material to in the box as quickly as possible. You ...

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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: Time for Mindset Change?

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Monday, June 25, 2012
Question: "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?" To change the silo focus you'll have to change people's mindset, which developed out of them having been led and managed a certain way. Habitual behaviors can be changed and there are a few different ways to do it. One way is to deliberately practice new behaviors every day, which creates a new habit over time; like practicing in music and sports. Another is to ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Changing the structure doesn’t change the work – don’t reorganize, teach teamwork

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012
I often think that questions like this suggest a misunderstanding of the problem.  Simply stating the problem is we have silos and we want to turn the organization sideways to focus on business processes is not a  good problem statement.   Presumably there is a process that cuts across silos and the silos need to work together to solve specific problems to achieve specific objectives. The reason they currently do not work together to solve those problems is because of the history of the company, what they were taught, how they are evaluated, and how they have been led.  Organizations often ...

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Jim Huntzinger

Jim Huntzinger: Lean leaders spend the time developing the people with different knowledge, wisdom and experience to change and evolve the system and culture of the organization

By Jim Huntzinger, - Last updated: Saturday, March 3, 2012
To carry forward the points Jeff makes about differentiating between a lean leader and a traditional leader, we can also look at this from a systems view.  As Dr. Liker aptly describes a traditional leader with all the adjectives that we are familiar with; and often, these types of leaders do make changes with very good results. The longer term issue is these types of leaders rarely make the deep system changes needed to sustain the high level results.  So as soon as they depart the organization so do the high level results.  The have not spent the time developing the ...

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Preparing for the inevitable change in leadership

By , - Last updated: Sunday, November 6, 2011
Until someone finds the Fountain of Youth, leadership changes in organizations are inevitable. Large corporations and small family-owned businesses all have to deal with it. But sometimes they appear to occur at the wrong time. Just as your lean journey appears to have some momentum, all of a sudden the leadership changes. The leadership change might be at a plant level, an executive level, or the CEO themselves. In any of these cases, leadership changes can cause shifts to our momentum. But we're caught by surprised. And anytime that we're caught unprepared for something that is inevitable, we have only ...

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Pierre Vareille: How can lean survive a change in top management?

By , - Last updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
As we all know, Lean depends upon full support and real engagement from top management. However, this involvement cannot last forever, whereas Lean is a long multi-year or -decade journey. So the one-million-dollar question is: how can we make Lean survive a change in top management?
Godefroy Beauvallet

Godefroy Beauvallet: Is there a “Lean Way” to look at one firm’s IT? Can IT be made to change towards lean? What would be the first steps in such a journey?

By Godefroy Beauvallet, - Last updated: Friday, September 3, 2010
Lean is about creating a performance mindset, being aware of problems, and having problems solved locally as a way to develop people through problem-solving and fostering a "kaizen spirit". If one frames Lean that way, it seems hardly possible to practice it in any modern firm without getting across information technology questions: most of the work load nowadays is achieved using information systems (from emails to forms-filling); we use IT to report data, calculate indicators and analyze performance; alerts are often generated by sensors, sent through networks and treated by computers; amounts of data that can be used to analyze problems ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: a methodical approach to change management

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Sunday, December 6, 2009
I can empathize with the fears and connotations associated with the term “Lean” in the question posed by Prof. Austin. The term Lean was coined in the United States by a team associated with MIT researching the Toyota Production System. Internally at Toyota we never used the term “Lean” and I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with it for several of the reasons stated above. In order to address some of the fears and items mentioned by Prof. Austin. I think there are several actions that need to take place when getting started ...

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