My notes from the 1st Lean HR Summit
I spent the day at the 1st-ever Lean HR Summit put on by the great team at Lean Frontiers that created the Lean Accounting Summit and other great conferences. I was the lunchtime keynote today, which you can see more about here. It was great seeing some great familiar faces like Jim Huntzinger and Dwayne Butcher from Lean Frontiers, Jean Cunningham (author of Real Number and Easier, Simpler, Faster), Bob Emiliani, and Norm Bodek. I also got to meet some new folks, like David Veech and Bob Wrona. I took notes throughout my chance to sit in on other’s presentations, so I share those notes with you, unfiltered and unedited, below.
Opening Keynote was by Norm Bodek, author of Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean and co-author of All You Gotta Do Is Ask, and he was introduced by Jim Huntzinger. Here are some of his comments:
-Norm started with declaring HR holds the real power in the company. After all, they do the hiring.
-HR used to be called HRD: Human Resource Development. Your job is to bring back the D.
-His latest theme is the power of self-reliance, which will be his next book wtih Takashi Hiranu
-The secret is finding the problem. The solution is easy. (I agree, that although solutions aren’t always actually easy, the real work is all about finding and knowing the problem).
– Respect for people is one of the pillars of Toyota, and what gives people respect? It’s the empowerment to change. It means giving people the opportunity to grow. What do we value? We value people’s skills and creativity, so the more the skill, the more their value. We respect them by helping develop that skill.
– What’s the biggest waste? Underutilization of people’s talents. He also added another one: manager’s resistance to change.
– Monozukuri: the development of the greatest possible product. Hitozukuri: the development of the greatest possible people. (this is of course similar to the Toyota theme of building people before building products)
-How can we show people respect when we give them jobs where they do the same things over and over again?
-Toyota was getting 70 ideas per working per year, and the average is 20 in Japan. In other cases, it’s 1 idea every 7 years. How can we compete?
-The Harada Method Workshop – my newest thing, it’s all about developing people.
– The Horizontal Strategic Planning MAP: broke the company into 38 segments, then defined what is the best concepts in each segment, and then defined which company is the best at that.
-Takashi Harada is the best in the world at day-to-day management. For 20 years he a junior high school track coach, in the worst slums on Osaka. And he generated 13 champions, uplifted the team, and improved education.
– The principles of the Harada Method: Self-reliant, Goal-oriented, Develop people to their fullest potential, Everyone can be successful.
-Self-reliant means yes we have a rulebook, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t make a decision that’s right for the customer.
– the Harada Method Steps: Decide your goal with dates and measures. Write down the purpose and value of the goal to others and yourself. Analyze your self. Create a 64 Chart of specific tasks to atain your goal. Keep a Routine Check Sheet to watch yourself each day. Keep a daily diary and write, write, write. Meet with your coach/mentor.
-The role of HR should be to help everyone be successful and be happy.
Bob Emiliani, author of many books including Better Thinking, Better Results, talked on HR’s Role on Enabling Real Lean. Some of Bob’s points:
-Operations holds the vast majority of lean knowledge. This is a problem because when you go to do a cross-functional kaizen, people don’t get the support to participate.
-In the Wiremold example, chronicled in the book, executives from all functions learned and participated in lean.
-In the Wiremold example, leaders decided to participate instead of just delegate it.
-Two keys in Wiremold journey was two things. One was a qualified job guarantee, which is no one loses their job due to continuous improvement. This is important, because otherwise people fear to participate in kaizen. The other component was No-Blame, which means to focus on the process, not the people.
– Over the time of progressive management, employees are concerned about the same things again and again, such as job loss and de-skilling the work, yet few companies proactively work on these.
-Evolution of lean was shifting from batch and queue to lean tools. Went beyond that to a lean operating system, but this was very operations-centric. Now we’re evolving to a lean management system, which encompasses the whole company.
-The emergence of fake lean is based on a set of faulty assumptions, such as that the purpose of lean is to cut costs and improve quality, and that you can pick and choose which lean tools you use, and that performance metrics do not need to change.
-How do you sustain lean change? Through daily lean practice, such as Standardized Work for Managers.
-Your achievement focus should be about both continuous improvement and respect for people.
Vicky Piper and Carolyn Nelson shared the story of lean from Loyola Medicine. Some key points:
– focused the transformation on a change in thinking and a change in behaviors
-they were opportunistic in starting the change, following workforce reduction and financial pressures
-created a Operational Excellence Department, combined outside experience with 2-year rotational assignments from people within the organization
-did value stream maps for all our major service lines
-developed a 4-year Transformation Map with 4 categories: Planning, Targeted Areas, People Development, and Supporting Infrastructure
-HR systems on the roadmap included comp/benefits, engagement survey, management standards, policies, selection, and recognition
-5 day Kaizens were a big part of application, but we also used them for training. People can sign up to participate in events, particularly in other departments, through a website tool. An expectation for all HR managers was to participate in a kaizen event.
-focused on 4 tools: managing for daily improvement, 5S, Standard Work, and problem solving (5 why and PDCA)
-Managing for Daily Improvement was structured daily rounding with a purpose, and huddles with employees
-key performance indicator boards started with just metrics and didn’t worry about goals just to get them used to using the boards
-focused a lot on Recruitment Process, which included an assessment. How can take some of what we are looking for in lean and embed them into the assessment process, such as “Employees are always trying to find ways to complete their tasks more quickly. What would you do when you found out someone was skipping steps in the process to accomplish this?”
-started a basic business planning process that would then connect to the KPI boards
Lean at WABCO with Kevin Tarrant and Piotr Radomski on their lean journey. Their story of lean-minded HR was very compelling, and I would consider what they are doing as benchmark status.
-the early efforts did not engage employees. It was top down, with the Lean Promotional Office swooping in.
-people was its own value stream, but hadn’t really engaged that group yet. The first reaction was “oh, that stuff is for the engineers.”
-vision was to make HR the co-drivers of process champions and problem solving. Really modeled it after the racing models of co-drivers and showed a video that demonstrated what co-drivers are all about. Trained HR leaders and their business partners by blindfolding the business manager while having them drive a remote control car through a course and the HR person has to give them instructions. You can imagine how that goes.
– Kevin: I spend more time with our CEO than anyone else on the management team
-getting too comfortable behind policies is a cop-out
-care how things are done. Don’t “just recruit”; the process matters.
-Talent Management System: Attract, Develop, Engage, and Retain people. Managers own this. HR owns the processes that make this happen.
-key questions in planning the journey: who designs the roadmap, conduct audits, and implement actions? We couldn’t let consultants do it, we had to do it.
-Used 5 step process maturity matrix, which was used to identify gaps
– co-drivers are problem solvers. If we say we don’t have problems, our standards are too low. Move to “I am lucky, I have interesting problems.”
-physically moved the HR people from their offices to the floor, instead of ‘come and see me’. First excuse is confidentiality, but this is just am excuse.
-a web portal acts as a means for global sharing
-design of training was 40% classroom and 60% go and see
-each one of 12 elements of their talent system has KPIs and owners. They have 5 year hoshin plans. Globally we’re focused on 4, but each site will also use this to drive their own unique challenges
-HR can’t be blamed for “you’re not doing this or that” because they have facts and data. We agreed to the plan, and that’s our focus.
-their site in India is winning awards, with employees giving 60 suggestions per year
-we thought more HR leaders would be scared and resistant of this change, but as we went forward found most wanted to deliver value in this way
-HR Transformation project running in parallel to get the administrative work out of HR to free up time to focus on this stuff
-renamed to HR Change Leaders; the words matter
Assessing Your Readiness for Transformation to a Lean Culture by Kathi Hanley, someone with some Toyota experience.
-When hired at Toyota, went through 40 hours of assessment testing for an hourly role. 85% of the people hired by Toyota Georgetown had a college degree, and over 30% had an advanced degree. We were a group of different folks working on the front line at an auto plant.
-Started out in in-coming supplier quality, and eventually went to HRD.
-a critical role for HR in strategy is making sure the organization has the skills it needs to deliver the organization’s strategy
-uses Ed Schein’s pyramid as a model with Underlying Assumptions on the bottom, then Norms and Values, then Artifacts and Behaviors at the top.
– Understanding Artifacts: walk into your organization like you’ve never been there before and take a look around. What are you noticing?
-Her principles of a lean culture were as follows: Built on mutual respect and trust, demonstrated leadership commitment, driven by employee involvement, focused on organizational development, measured performance visible to all, standardized methods are the base for improvement, problems are solved at the lowest level possible.
The day ended with a “Town Hall” with a panel that included Jean Cunningham, Bob Emiliani, and yours truly.