March 8, 2014

Lean Leadership Principles

Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment or Implementation - Customer Focus, Aligned goals on levels.
Importance of Gemba - Shop Floor or Work Place - Shop floor based management - Decisions based on first hand knowledge
Qualification - Long Term Development of Employees - Continuous learning
Improvement Culture - Striving to perfection, Accepting  failure as a possibility to improve
Self Development of the Leader - Lean leaders are role models - New leadership skills are necessary and they have to acquire them

Lean Leadership – Fundamental Principles and their Application
U. Dombrowski, T. Mielke
Procedia CIRP
Volume 7, 2013, Pages 569–574
Forty Sixth CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems 2013

Related Reading
Principles of Management – Koontz and O’Donnell

Six Qualities of Lean Leadership - Lonnie Wilson

The new model of leadership - lean leadership. -  The Japanese have been using it for 65 years -- lean leadership.

It has six basic qualities, which are:

Leaders as superior observers: They go to the place of  action (gemba ) -- to observe not only the machines and the products but also to interact with the employees and observe their activities. They also are in contact with their customers. They have in abundance, the ability to be an empathetic listener. They listen to their employees, customers and suppliers.

Leaders as learners: They do not assume they know it all. They are in “lifelong” learning mode.

Leaders as initiators: They plan, they articulate and sell their plans, and they act on their plans. They are not risk averse. They are not cavalier.

Leaders as teachers: They are “lifelong” teachers. They teach and train their associates. When something goes wrong, their first thought is not “Who fouled up?” but “Why did it fail?” and “How can I use this as a teaching opportunity to support root cause analysis?”

Leaders as role models: They walk the talk. There is no substitute for this. NONE.

Leaders as supporters: They recognize they have get work done through many others, so they have mastered the skills of “servant leadership.”

Lean Leadership Program - University of Michigan

Overview of Lean Leadership
Lean versus traditional management approaches
Elements of Lean management
Five needs of every leader

Introduction to standard work
Organizing and Planning
Leader Standard Work (LSW)


The communication process
Sending mixed messages
Effective communication skills
Barriers to communication
Effective meeting skills
Visual Management Systems
Elements of a comprehensive Visual Management System (VMS)
Introduction to A3


Trust & Motivation
Respect for others
Johari Window
The Personal System (Attitudes, Moods, Beliefs, Competencies, Values, Goals)
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Herzberg's Job Enrichment Principles
Principle of 'Go-See'
Gemba Walks
Review LSW, VMS, and A3


Providing Direction I

Conflict response modes
Levels of direction
Job relations
The Socratic Method
Job instruction
Handling difficult people

Providing Direction II

Job Methods (JM), PDCA
Introduction to Improvement Kata
Introduction to Coaching Kata
A3 presentation and coaching

Eight Critical Steps for Lean Champions
1. Choose where to focus your improvement efforts
2. Define process excellence and set clear goals
3. Actively participate in process improvement events
4. Assign staff and resources
5. Provide visible support for process improvement efforts
6. Monitor progress and hold people accountable
7. Clear obstacles to successful implementation
8. Recognize and celebrate accomplishments

Leadership's role in lean transformations

The 18 Principles of Lean Leadership

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