Beyond the Lean Initiative [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-08-15

Through my IndustryWeek column, Lessons from the Road, I’ve been exploring some of the issues associated with the ongoing maturing of a lean journey. In this installment, Beyond the Lean Initiative, I explore issues with making lean an integral part of the organization. It can no longer be an initiative. It has to be, plain and simple, how you do things.

Here is an excerpt of one of my 4 recommendations:

3. Hire and promote lean behaviors, not lean talent. When starting a lean journey, you need lean talent. You need people with experience in lean journeys from other companies, people with lean skills, people who can teach lean to others. This is the lean talent you need to inject into the organization. But as lean becomes how the organization works, the lean talent you hired starts looking for things to do.

Hire for lean behaviors. Promote for lean behaviors. Everything else is teachable. One organization did interviews by holding a lean simulation. They observed behaviors during the simulation and used these observations to help determine who would be a good fit for the new lean culture.

You can read the entire column here. I would appreciate your comments, as always, either online or offline. And I certainly welcome suggestions or questions for future columns.