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 'management'
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Visual control as a technique and visual management as a system are essential to lean practice

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Saturday, November 8, 2014
Overall, I suspect we collectively underestimated the importance of visual control. Back in the day, many of the questions I remember from Toyota sensei where about: is this situation normal or abnormal? How can we tell? As a movement, I believe we have correctly spotted the emphasis on problem solving, but maybe not so much problem finding and problem facing – what Tracey told me Toyota calls problem awareness: how can we see we have a problem? Visual control should probably be called visual autocontrol – visual signs so that all team members can see at one glance whether they’re doing ok ...

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Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: Visual control is micro, visual management macro

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I will answer your question regarding visual control versus management based on how some of my Japanese trainers, coordinators and leaders articulated it to me and how I personally practiced it during my time at the TMMK plant in hourly and salary positions. This question comes up all the time and it can turn into semantics very easily, similar to asking someone what are the 5S's. I think there are 20 different versions out there, the explanation and purpose of it become crucial. So I like to look at visual control as the "micro" side of the ...

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The Lean Edge

Is there a difference between visual management and visual control?

By The Lean Edge, - Last updated: Sunday, October 19, 2014
How do you explain the difference between visual management and visual control and what is the role of shop floor management in it?
Mike Rother

Mike Rother: You already have a KPO… It’s called “Management”

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Question: What practical advice would you offer to companies as they establish their Kaizen Promotion Offices? Establishing a Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO) was a worthy Lean experiment and failed hypothesis of late 20th century Lean efforts in the West. As with any failed hypothesis, it's highly useful if we take the lessons it provides and use them to adjust our approach as we pursue the target condition. That target condition goes something like this:  Improvement at every process every day that is aligned with strategic objectives. What we learned from the 20th century KPO experiments is that establishing a KPO tends to ...

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Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Assess along purpose (results), process (means), people (learning) framework of a lean management system

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, January 22, 2012
Lean adds new perspectives to the traditional ways of assessing executive performance, namely Results and People skills, and adds a third process or value stream dimension. These mirror the purpose (results), process (means), people (learning) framework of a lean management system. The lean logic behind this is that you need knowledgeable people running tightly integrated end-to-end value streams and projects to deliver results that will be sustained. In other words, good people running a good process generate good results. This also provides the right basis for redesigning these products, value streams and business models as circumstances change. A lean assessment starts ...

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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?
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Quality = Sales is the hardest lean lesson for management

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thanks for asking the question – the difficulty in getting senior executives to focus on quality has to be my number one frustration with teaching lean (number two being people engagement). I have been puzzled for years how come all our Toyota teachers always started with quality, but somehow we never took that onboard as we did lead-time reduction or spot waste elimination. To my mind, the question is: why can’t we capture senior management’s interest on quality? The first issue appears to be the mindset of price = volume. In Ohno’s terms, I’m increasingly convinced that this is a misconception. ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: A heroic “line stop” or has Toyota lost its way? Toyota’s unique contribution to management is collaborative problem solving, so Toyota is at its most interesting when it has problems!

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, January 31, 2010
There are two extreme ways of reading current Toyota events. From the lean perspective, Toyota is reacting to an exceedingly rare problem by stopping its sales, production and organizing its largest recall ever – regardless of the impact on its cherished quality reputation. Or in reading the press, the story is that the US government has finally forced Toyota to deal with a problem the company has been trying to fudge consistently and the accelerator issue is a red herring to divert attention and blame to a Canadian supplier from the real issue of sudden acceleration that Toyota has been ...

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Peter Senge

Peter Senge: In transformations such as the lean management movement suggests, how do you help people discover the depth of personal commitment it takes to lead such changes?

By Peter Senge, - Last updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
In integrating lean and systems thinking in a genuine learning-oriented culture the part people consistently miss is the 'personal mastery' element, meaning not only personal vision but the willingness to examine deeply our taken-for-granted habits of thought and action and how we may be part of the problem. There are two types of problems embedded here: people who espouse the fad with no real deep commitment and people who are genuinely intent on transforming work cultures who lack the knowledge (and larger learning community) about how to build their own skills and challenge their own habits.
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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