Monday, November 22, 2010

Lean Behaviors: Hard work, in reality

One of the appeals of Lean is its framework to describe, from a high altitude, how a process or collection of processes should operate.  It appeals to readers. 
To sell books on Lean, one needs only to tell the stories of how those processes should operate.  It appeals to authors. 
Understanding the books and the stories makes one literate on Lean, able to use the lingo, able to fly over a situation and offer advice.  It appelas to senior executives. 
Implementation, however, is the truly hard work of Lean.  By definition, implementation is at a low altitude, encompassing detail.  It's hard to write interesting books about the boring, long grind of implementation. 
And the true leader accepts this, buckles down, and implements anyway. 
The leader does the hard work.
The one who does the hard work is the true leader. 

1 comment:

Robert D said...

I agree full heartedly, it is easier by far to write and design materials that give a space shuttle view of the work place. But translating those views to something that relates and can be applied on the shop floor is tough.

First you need to change the language used so that average people can understand it. Than you have to deliver it in away that keeps them from falling asleep during the first act. Lastly you need to find away to let them experience it for themselves. CEO can go on tours in Japan, but they never actually do much real Lean Implementation, so what do you do for the real implementation team?

Those are all tough issues that leaders need to deal with. It is what our company deals with every day designing training materials.