Lean Leadership

At our 2013 Lean Summit we welcomed Art Byrne, architect and leader of numerous Lean Transformations such as that undertaken at  Wiremold – told in Chapter 7 of Lean Thinking – as well as author of the book “The Lean Turnaround.”

Art Byrne Discussion Workshop

Art’s stories from his remarkable career are compelling evidence that Lean thinking gives organizations a competitive advantage and superior business results. We have just uploaded Art’s talk “What it takes to Lead a Lean Turnaround” onto our YouTube Channel. In the talk Art discusses Lean thinking from the perspective of a business leader, describing the Lean transformation as the biggest strategic weapon you can have. He argues that to get results Lean should be viewed as a growth strategy (not a cost reduction strategy.)

Art’s approach to Lean leadership contains three management principles and four fundamentals. The management principles are that firstly Lean thinking is the strategy – focusing on processes, not results, enables you to compete on time. Secondly Lean leaders must lead from the top – learning Lean by doing. Thirdly you must transform the people, as they are the only assets that appreciates, creating a learning environment. Fundamentals are working to takt time, establishing one-piece flow, standardized work and the pull system.

Lean Leadership is a hotly debated topic and the lack of it is often cited as the reason organizations find it difficult to sustain and expand their implementation of Lean thinking. That’s why the Lean leadership theme is again strongly represented at our 2014 Lean Summit – Practical Next Steps. Not only is it weaved throughout the Summit, we have asked Peter Watkins to explain during a plenary talk about how GKN is developing Lean leadership capability. In addition we have devoted one of eight 2 hour Learning Sessions for Peter and his colleague David Marriott to explain their approach and activities in more detail. 

If you want to develop as a Lean leader and develop that skill in others you won’t want to miss our 2014 UK Lean Summit on 18th and 19th November. In the meantime, you can catch up on Art Byrne’s 2013 Summit talk “What it takes to lead a lean turnaround.”