Effective Lean Leadership
Leading in a Lean organization is very different from traditional management.

Lean leadership is based on two key principles – Respect for People and Continuous Improvement. Lean leaders succeed by focusing on these principles and developing a management system and culture that embodies them.

A Lean management system empowers the people on the front lines to identify and solve problems, and aligns the entire organization around achieving shared aspirational goals.

Lean leaders work differently:
  • Rather than sitting in back to back meetings interrupted only by emails or crises, Lean leaders intentionally go to the “gemba” – the place where the real work is done – in order to understand what is working and what is not, and to build trusting relationships with the front line workers.
  • Rather than spend time analyzing spreadsheets and reports filled with data that is weeks to months old, Lean leaders encourage transparency with visual management in which real time performance data is posted on walls in a way that makes it easy for all to see when performance is on track or off track.
  • Rather than simply demanding action plans to fix the metrics that are off track, Lean leaders seek to understand the root causes when performance is off track and support the front line workers as they redesign the workflows to eliminate the problems.

Lean leadership is a journey that takes time and never reaches a final conclusion. Everyone is always improving.

If you are struggling with Lean leadership, or are interested in learning more, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help.

Lean Leadership: It’s Lonely at the Bottom

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Lean Leadership: It’s Lonely at the Bottom

Are You Driving a Ferrari or a Porsche?

I recently was asked to work with a health system that is struggling with physician engagement in their Lean program. Nothing new about that. Doctors are so busy trying to take care of higher volumes of increasingly complex patients that they can’t afford the time to fix the dysfunctional workflows that stand in the way… Continue Reading

“Respect is Like Air…”

“Respect is Like Air…”

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The Courage to Lead Change

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