Volume 1 / Issue 4 / May 9, 2016
The lean enterprise needs to have the entire operation pulling in the same direction to achieve its goals.
It needs leaders to make tactical operational decisions every minute of every day that are aligned with the goals of the enterprise. And leaders are not just the people who have formal leadership titles. Leaders are people who influence other people and set the direction that other people follow. Influential people are leaders. Sometimes they influence people in the right direction, sometime not. The lean enterprise needs to identify its formal and informal leaders then get them to use their influence to move the organization in the lean direction.
Influential people should understand what it means to lead, know how to take leadership actions, create and share a coordinated vision, align the organization on what needs to be done, and empower people to get things done.
Welcome to the lean decade. Companies that want to thrive have to align themselves around a set of strategies identified by the term lean enterprise. All the goals of the lean enterprise, reduced waste, faster throughput, reduced costs, and higher profits, can only be achieved through the efforts of its people.
To achieve these goals, the people must possess the skills to respond to constant change, constant demand for more, and constant quickening of the pace. The lean enterprise must be sure that its people possess these skills. Acquisition of these skills will not happen by itself. Management must put a plan in place.
That plan starts with training, continues with more training, and follows up with even more training. Courses need to be designed or procured. Resources and time need to be allocated. Creating lean people requires management to act. Start right away. The boardroom is demanding it, the competition is doing it, and you can’t wait any longer.
Lean people create lean enterprises.
Source: AFEE Manufacturing Consortium Weekly Update, October 10, 2005