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Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Organization 
30th Edition   
 
The topics for this edition are:    
  • The Four Components of a Successful "Lean as a System" Implementation in Your Organization
     
  • Developing a Lean Culture - Setting Behavioral Expectations

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  The Four Components of a Successful "Lean as a System" Implementation in Your Organization
Industry Week magazine has reported that of all the American organizations using "Lean" as their business improvement process, 74% are reporting little or no progress.

Industry Week Pie 2

The reason organizations end up in the 74% category is that they see Lean as a "set of tools" rather than a system to run their entire business.
 
 by Vince Fayad & Larry Rubrich 
 
As noted, being stuck in the 74% of the pie occurs because organizations do not recognize that there are four components or elements of a Lean Implementation as shown in the chart below. In the correct order of implementation they are: Lean Planning, Lean Concepts, Lean Tools, and Lean Culture. Policy Deployment, which connects an organization's goals to the Lean Tools, is part of the Lean Planning activity. 

Lean Components

It is important to note that this order of component implementation may seem incorrect to current Lean Practitioners. This results from our tendency to jump to the Lean Tools first. However, the roadmap to using Lean as a System and becoming World Class starts with the end in mind - Lean Planning. Lean Planning ensures that we are not using Lean as an add-on or appendage in our organization, but as the system to accomplish the organization's goals.
 
All four of these components must be implemented to their fullest extent throughout the organization, in a timely manner, to be successful. Most organizations like to pick and choose what elements of Lean they would like to implement. This is primarily because they do not understand that Lean is a total system and represents a complete and comprehensive culture change in their organization. Lean represents a completely new way of managing the organization.
 
Note that Lean Concepts include eliminating waste to improve the flow of information. This includes the "information or knowledge product" that is produced in the office/administrative area. The information product includes producing sales orders, drawings, work orders, and other information products required to support the production of the physical product. 
 
To be successful, a company must be in balance. It must achieve the correct balance when it comes to Lean Planning, understanding Lean Concepts, using the correct Lean Tools, and empowering its workforce by creating a Lean Culture. But you must have all four components before you can announce that you are truly a Lean Organization and have the makings of a World Class Enterprise.
  
 
 
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  Developing a Lean Culture - Setting Behavioral Expectations
American businesses spend little or no time developing and establishing a Lean culture in their organizations. As was noted in the above article, building a World Class organization requires the foundation of a Lean culture. 
 
Culture develops in every organization whether it is directed and guided or not. Behavioral expectations can be the start of your organization's guided Lean culture development process. 
 
by Vince Fayad 
 

What Kind of Leaders

 
 
The chart above was developed based on former GE CEO Jack Welch's definition of performance and values. The "X" axis is based on performance. How well you do your job? The "Y" axis is based on how you get work done (values/culture). We generally equate this to the traditional used car salesperson. His job is to sell cars. You could easily measure how many cars he sells and at what profit margin. But how he sells cars is just as important. He could lie and try to cheat you by telling you that the car has features that it really does not have, or that it was driven by a little old lady once a week to church (down hill both ways) or he can be truthful and honest.
 
In the lower left quadrant are those people whose performance is unacceptable and who will never fit into the Lean culture we are trying to create. 
 
In the upper right quadrant are your high potential people - the people you plan to build the company upon. 

In the upper left quadrant are those people who have the heart and desire to fit into the Lean culture but whose performance is still unacceptable. 
 
Jack Welch will tell you that the most difficult quadrant of all is the lower right quadrant. Most organizations are very reluctant to do anything about those people who do not want Lean to be successful. They will do whatever is necessary to undermine this process. They do not want to empower their people, they want to keep all the power to themselves (generally because they have all the process knowledge and are unwilling to share this knowledge). In fact, these people like firefighting; they will sometimes start fires just so they can go out and solve problems. 

Most organizations do a good job in identifying "Personal Performance Metrics" (such as a Project Manager who completes a project on-time and within budget, a salesperson who hits his sales objective for the year, etc.). However, organizations do a very poor job of identifying and measuring behavioral characteristics (personal integrity, empowerment, teamwork, communications, etc.).
 
Measuring desired Behavioral Characteristics (and establishing a Lean culture) can start by the organization issuing "behavioral expectations." Behavioral expectations or codes of conduct are short statements, usually presented in the form of a laminated pocket card, that are "a set of rules or standards" that members of the organization use to guide their behavior and actions. An example of behavioral expectations (Code of Conduct) for an organization are shown below.

Code of Conduct

 
These behavioral expectations should then be integrated into job descriptions, the new associate hiring and orientation programs, and performance reviews.

It should be noted that the behavioral expectations will only produce culture change if they are modeled by the organization's Leadership Team. Since the culture change process can take years, the Leadership Team must be committed to the guidelines as a new way of doing business.  
 
    
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Next Edition 
 
What Happens When the Top Manangement in an Organization Does Not Fully Communicate? 
 
Start De-Departmentalizing Now!
 
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2010 WCM Associates
 
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