Working Great! Lean Leadership Lessons for Guiding Your Organization to Excellence
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Significant sustained Lean success depends almost solely on leaders and the culture they foster. Unfortunately, many embark on their Lean initiative with a focus on tools observed during a benchmarking tour, disclosed during a short symposium presentation, or peddled by their chosen Lean partner. These leaders are thus ill-equipped to understand the critical behavior and attitude changes required of them and their staff to sustain tools-based improvements and, more importantly, to effectively promote and harvest their employees’ innovation to remove waste. Some area-specific and short-term gains can be realized via a top-down, tools-based approach, but broad, ongoing, and organic improvement that is embraced by all employees requires a unique environment—one carefully defined and nurtured by leaders.
Working Great! shares author Rick Brimeyer’s most important lessons learned while leading within an employer’s successful Lean transformation and later as a consultant guiding several other organizations through their own makeovers. Unlike travel brochures and websites created by a tour company or the local visitors’ bureau for the sole purpose of promoting a highly predictable vacation trip, Working Great! strives to provide an honest, clear, culture-first handbook of leadership skills and techniques (with some tools) required to effectively guide one’s organization through a Lean expedition.
1 January—Preparing for an Expedition: Assessing the Resolve
2 February—Defining the Wilderness: Creating the Place for Lean to Succeed
3 March—Taming the Wilderness: Leadership Behaviors to Build the Culture
4 April—Living in the Wilderness: Rounding – An Intentional Habit for Culture Change
5 May—Choosing the Right People for the Expedition: Building a Strong Team
6 June—Building People for the Expedition: Developing Employees
7 July—The Critical Supply for the Expedition: Time Management and Prioritization
8 August—Fundamental Gear: Introducing Foundational Lean Tools
9 September—One Step Forward, Zero Steps Back: Standardizing and Sustaining Every Improvement
10 October—Building a Perpetual Improvement Machine: Daily Improvements, Mistake Proofing, and Problem Solving
11 November—The Importance of Stories: Case Studies of Success
12 December—A Glimpse at the Goal: Case Studies from a Lean Culture
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