Why I Need A Leadership Roadmap To Lean?
Have you ever heard or thought “you don’t know, what you don’t know”? This might seem strange to successful leaders in various organizations. The fact is you knew how to use the system you have worked on for years. You also have performed well enough to be promoted to various levels within the organization by working within the system. This makes change to the system even harder, for you as a leader, because what made you successful should continue under your leadership. I know, because I have been there.
It was joining Toyota Motor Manufacturing, as the Kentucky Powertrain General manager, after a successful eighteen year career at General Motors that opened my eyes to a different system. As a matter of fact, I had never thought of my success and career at GM as working in a defined system. After joining Toyota I could easily look back and see I was not only working in a system, well developed for over seventy years, but one that was not developed utilizing all the intelligence of the Team Members. If I had stayed at GM for the rest of my career, I would have supported improvement and lean, however with limited success because of “what I did not know”.
As we continue to discuss Lean (Toyota Production System) in the future, the Roadmap will challenge you to think about the success of your current system, also that of organizations like Toyota. You as a leader or executive team must then decide what you desire for your future system of improvement. It will be the leaderships responsibility to develop your operating principles, which will be every lasting. Then utilizing your internal resources, guide the implementation of new tools to accomplish moving toward your new systems principles. If thought through properly, this will be a never ending quest for continuous improvement and elimination of waste by every Team Member in the organization.
Good Luck On Your Lean Journey