Categories : Lean Manufacturing Principles


Lean Implementation without Leadership involvement is a fiasco!

It seems like the never-ending story that one reads in a child’s bedtime book. It’s the story about the little company who dreams of one day becoming the best business who implemented lean principles. It continued to dream this great dream until one day the evil corporate brothers and sisters refused to support its dream and killed it. The dream that once was, is now a broken list of promises and lies. The company is now living the rest of its life in a remote area of never-ever to be land. The End.

Lean Implementation

Lean Implementation

It is sad to mock with such a shocking story but this is what happens often in the business world. Someone reads a book about lean principles or visits another facility that has done wonderful things with lean, and they return with great ideas. They are persistent in presenting these ideas to the until one day they penetrate the walls of the executive suite. The executive leadership team looks at the list of ideas and all agree to give their full support to the improvement process. Now, you have to keep reading to get the punch line of the story. Alternatively, maybe you’ve heard this one before?

When executive leadership says they will support any project without a plan, they are being vague to say the least.  Support must be demonstrated with a plan, which defines the 5H1W; What, Where, When, Who, Why and How. If they don’t give their support with this level of detail they are not going to be able to deliver on their promises. Why is this?

Innovation in any business does not start at the top, it can only be supported or opposed by leadership. New ideas are born on the operations level of an organization by people who touch and build the products based on new ideas or feedback from the customer. Lean principles can work for any organization, no matter what their field of expertise. However, it will only work if the executive leadership team steps up to the plate to participate in the process and give their wholehearted support in writing. The best way they can do this is to implement a Lean technique called “Strategy Deployment (or ).” Check out our online training module Step 1 – Strategy Deployment from our “10 Steps to become a Lean Enterprise” series.

“Failure is simply the non-presence of success. But a fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions” – Orlando Bloom.

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