One of the purposes of our annual UK Lean Summit is to address questions that all organizations face when trying to implement Lean Thinking. At our 2015 event, one of the questions posed is “How do the best companies develop and coach Lean leadership to build Lean capability?”
As a starting point for this discussion I’d like to share the talk Peter Watkins gave at our 2014 event: “Developing Lean Leadership Capability at GKN.”
Peter reflects on the Lean leadership journey at GKN – asking us to think about whether the work our people do is purposeful and whether we are building problem solving capability in our people? Eight years into Lean implementation the reflection that the team made at GKN will resonate with many leaders and Lean practitioners – pockets of Lean activity with shallow leadership understanding and whilst there had been lots of courses at the company many leaders were not using what they had been taught. Peter describes the countermeasures the organization has been implementing – ranging from introducing management control, educating and developing leaders in their new role, designing a Lean management system using PDCA and developing leader standard work for process and people development.
At our 2015 UK Lean Summit our theme is “Developing the Capability to Improve the Work.” Lean leadership capability runs through much of the UK Lean Summit content this year. To pick out a couple of examples: I am delighted that members of the Toyota Lean Management Centre will join us again. This year we’ve asked them to explain the role and development of standardised work in developing Lean leadership capability. In a two-hour break out they will explain what they study in the workplace, how they categorise work, how they go about re-designing the work to create a new standard and what’s required to create a kaizen plan to eliminate waste. John Shook author of “Managing to Learn” will devote a breakout to the subject of Lean Leadership Capability and provide insight into how we can make this invisible element of lean transformation visible.