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
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Samuel Obara

Sammy Obara: Kaizen every day, everywhere, by everyone

By Samuel Obara, - Last updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
I think Toyota had some pressing reasons to make Kaizen part of their culture. But I can’t think of any one more evident than the elimination of waste itself. Perhaps that was what compelled Toyota into making Kaizen, a culture. It is a shared value and belief. It is everyone’s expectation. Kaizen every day, everywhere, by everyone. At Toyota Japan they call it Kaizen Teian, which is impossible to properly translate into English. Teian can be interpreted as a proposal that has been already implemented, it is done. (in English, ‘proposal’ always means something for ...

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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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Peter Handlinger

Peter Handlinger: To fully and deeply commit to the PDCA cycle, all day, every day

By Peter Handlinger, - Last updated: Sunday, March 25, 2012
If you had to force a one liner statement from me in answer to the above question I guess it would have to be “To fully and deeply commit to the PDCA cycle, all day, every day”. But what does this mean practically in terms of behaviour and results? Some very clear guidelines have been offered in the previous sections. Also, many references to Toyota have been made and, having spent 14 odd years in Toyota, I can recognize many of the behaviours described. Of course, whilst at Toyota we did not understand the meaning of Lean – but were schooled ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Waste elimination (in dire straights) as a key to competence increase (and saving the day)

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, July 11, 2010
How about a 40% production cost reduction and a few million Euros cash flow improvement in less than a year? I’m not sure this is the best lean success story I’ve come across, but it’s the most recent. One plant of a large global group produces components for the tier one plants, and was losing its bid for the next generation product and facing shutdown because of a price difference of 20% with Low Cost Country competition. The group recognized that once you lose production, you lose development, and once that has happened, it’s really hard to bring work back, ...

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