Leadership training that really matters must focus on doing things right the first time. If you want to be successful in this economy you must be wiser and look at things differently. Any lean leader needs to have both the knowledge and the commitment to utilize lean tools and philosophy well. When a leader is introspective and has some personal insight, then that leader will be more than likely to be able to identify what workers will need to become lean and be in a better position–and better equipped to provide it. However, there have been many organizations who believe that they are very committed for lean implementation but have leaders who behave in such a way that makes the implementation process very difficult. Just do things right and look at the big and current picture accurately.
- Create the Right Environment
Leaders need to create the adequate environment for the introduction of lean so that it can be regarded as “business as usual.” This involves the ability to manage change and the full understanding of the organization’s current culture, and what needs to be changed in order to create a culture of lean.
Leadership training by effective trainers teach characteristic of introducing a lean culture in order to become an element within the lean process. At the beginning of the transition, it is often something that organizations lack when lean is being introduced. More often than not, the emphasis is focused on the more visible or measurable aspects of lean, or machinery, without bearing in mind what will be involved in supporting the brisk change. Leaders at the top of the organization need to lead the management of cultural change because it represents a shared planning and commitment side of leading lean. Leadership training on lean must involve having rich conversations on recognizing the current culture and shaping it with authentic buy-in from leaders and employees at all levels.
- Understand Your People
A lean leader needs to be able to understand people within the organization in order to create a personal change and a successful team. A leader must now how individuals are motivated and how they will behave within a team. Different people have different motivations. Understanding what motivates the members of the team will allow leaders to identify how to lead them through the change. Leaders can encourage them to challenge the way wherein they can work positively, and confront any issues that may have prevented, in the past, effectiveness and efficiency.
There must be very clear communication of what it is that you are hoping to achieve, and sharing with each employee what the expectations are. It is important to show employees what is happening and what can be done to improve. This must be done continuously.
Finally, the last feature of leading lean is when the views of lean have been transferred to the leadership. Leaders need to:
- Scrutinize their own leadership behavior and gauge its effectiveness
- Make use of metrics (when available) to base their decisions or judgment
- Find the best practice approaches to leadership
- Be willing to change leadership behavior and practices in order to reduce or eliminate waste in their methods and be more effective
- Consider appropriate leadership as a way of making workers more effectively
- Adjust their leadership behavior with what their external customers are looking for
- Cohesively work with the organization’s other leaders
The most crucial lean implementation plan needs to involve the means to help deal with resistance to change, establishing common tools and methods for everyone to use, and dealing with the implementation issues that can come up daily, hands-on, at the team level.
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Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD
The Organizational Doctor TM
Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt. All rights reserved.