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 'focus'
Karen Martin

Karen Martin: Let’s focus on similarities and not differences and see Lean as a whole

By Karen Martin, - Last updated: Sunday, June 2, 2013
Great question! I'm happy to have a venue to share some thoughts I've been having myself about this subject. At its core, Lean Startup and "the original Lean" (as I call it) have a lot in common. And, in some ways, the Lean Startup movement has surpassed most companies' attempts to adopt Lean principles, practices, and tools. BUT... and it's a big but...I feel the movement is producing a fair amount of confusion in the marketplace due to the word "Lean." And I don't think it serves anyone well to have two separate "Lean" movements. There's a lot to learn in the Universe and it seems to me ...

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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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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: If we focus on eliminating the wastes associated with the selling process first, we can capture the imagination that lean and sales are great partners!

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: Monday, November 26, 2012
Lean failing to capture the imagination of the sales team…what a question!  Our sales team loved the fast lead times. Our sales team loved the improved quality. Our sales team loved rapid pace of new product offerings. We loved to leverage the web for selling.  But just as every other department outside of manufacturing, the improvement cycle was not grasped without some tangible structured introduction of the power of eliminating waste in the process.  The sales team was certainly interested in activities that would make the sales job easier:    getting marketing ...

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Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis: Sustaining focus & momentum requires effective connected checking — our organization’s nervous system

By Pascal Dennis, - Last updated: Monday, July 16, 2012
Good question & good reflections. I would add the following. Sustaining focus & momentum requires effective connected checking -- our organization's nervous system. We call it Level 1, 2, 3 checking, Level 1 being the front line. To Sammy's point, it's hard to beat daily asaichi at the front line, supported by leader STW checking what's important. But front line asaichi needs to be connected to Level 2 & Level 3. (Some problems are beyond the scope of a front line leader.  Without a help chain, they fester.) A number of enablers & subtleties here: ·         How to differentiate between Breakthrough vs. Run the Business work & ensure ...

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Klaus Petersen: How do we ensure a constant focus and momentum in our Lean transformation after these years and what are the pitfalls we must avoid ?

By , - Last updated: Saturday, July 14, 2012
We have been on the Lean journey for 5 years where we have been focusing on training people in visualizing, analyzing and solving problems. We have spend a lot of efforts in training managers to support the journey which they have done. How do we ensure a constant focus and momentum in our Lean transformation after these years and  what are the pitfalls we must avoid ?
Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Focus On Delivering Results

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Saturday, June 5, 2010
I think Tom Ehrenfeld asks an interesting question for us to consider. In its shorter form "How do you convince others to be lean?" I'll go out on a limb and say that you don't. Or more specifically at least that I don't bother trying to. Leaders have to decide for themselves what to do and how to go about doing it to a large extent. Otherwise they are not real leaders in my opinion. Sure they might need some assistance but I have never seen a very successful company of any type that did not have excellent leadership. So ...

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Mike Rother

Rob Austin: What advice can lean offer about breaking the dysfunctional cycle of “fire fighting”? How do you shift the focus from urgent rework to systematic improvement?

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010
I know of a service delivery organization plagued by administrative difficulties. Many service requests are mishandled. People within the organization who handle things effectively become known, and then everyone goes to them for help, which causes them to become overwhelmed; usually they either burnout and quit (or move to another job), or they become ineffective as a result of being overwhelmed. The reward for doing good work is that you get buried by an overwhelming volume of additional service requests. One problem this organization has is that its people don't have a habit of making problems visible. When you point out a ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Toyota’s Cost Reduction Focus

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Prof. Austin's most recent question strikes a chord with me as I think it unfortunately highlights an important aspect of lean or TPS that is not accurately depicted in the world today. Like most people when I started working for Toyota in Japan I sat through the standard half day introduction to TPS put on at that time by the education department. The second or third overhead transparency shown to us was the following simple equation for discussion purposes: Profits = (Sales Price - Cost) x Volume There are three ways to manipulate profit in this equation. 1) Increase prices, 2) Sell ...

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