Before we talk about lean behaviors, do you remember the “good old days” and the management style of those times? If you are in your forties and older you can surely see the difference with the modern style of management.
As the society moves on, so does the mentality of the people. What worked yesterday, doesn’t necessarily work today. Let’s look at some of the lean behaviors required to lead and advance a company on the lean journey.
Interesting to notice is that, if only a select few are managers, anybody can be seen as a leader. Therefore, everybody can benefit from these lean behaviors.
I’ll start with the inner change. If you want to see something changed, then you’d better start doing it. Subsequently, if you want to change something you have to start with yourself.
Lean Behaviors by Implementation Area
1. Lean Behaviors for leading the transformation
- Lead by personal example
- Focus on the customer, be it external or internal
- Encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking
- See problems as opportunities for advancement
- Commit to the goals and make them happen
Change cannot be chaotic. Without order everything becomes a nightmare.
2. Lean Behaviors for instituting discipline in all processes
- Standardize all process steps whenever possible
- Use problem solving methodology to correct abnormal conditions
- Respond rapidly to non-standard conditions
- Apply continuous improvement principles to discover better ways of doing the job
- Base your decisions on facts not rumors/appearances
Any change involves people. They are the greatest asset of any business.
3. Lean Behaviors for Respecting People
- Treat others as they would like to be treated
- Create an environment of mutual trust and respect
- Institute a no-blame environment
- Attack problems not people
- Value people’s ideas. They may turn your business into a very profitable venture.
Your people have to be trained and recognized for their contribution to assure their loyalty and 100% effort
4. Lean Behaviors for training, supporting and rewarding people
- Reward people in alignment with the business objectives, based on performance
- Provide training and development at the time required (lean training as well)
- Focus your support on value-added activities
- Practice “Go and see” for yourself or Genchi Genbutsu management style.
5. Lean Behaviors for Communicating
- Do your best to understand what people have to say and communicate clearly so they can fully understand you in return
- Provide frequent feedback to people and provide recognition generously
- Reinforce constantly the vision, the core values, the business objectives so that people keep focused
- Focus on priorities and communicate them to the required levels of your organization
If you are committed to becoming lean:
There will come a time when you will have to make some decisions that may be uncomfortable.
There will be non-believers and you will have to decide what is best for the organization as a whole.