Lean Should be Better Supported by HR

Dr. Monica Tracey of Oakland University’s Pawley Institute and I have published another article on our original research on lean and HR. This one is published in World of Work Journal and a link can be found here for a PDF download.

We are working on a 2nd round of research now and appreciate your help by completing this quick survey. We need as many people to participate as possible.

Fundamentally, our premise is this: HR CAN and SHOULD be a significant influence on the culture, behaviors and development of an organization. If lean is about these things, then HR should have more than just a passive role in the lean transformation. However, that’s exactly what we see. HR should be a driving force for change, and we intend to layout a roadmap for making this happen.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

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Jamie Flinchbaugh is a lean advisor, speaker, and author. In addition to co-founding the Lean Learning Center, he has helped build nearly 20 companies as either a co-founder, board member, advisor, or angel investor. These companies range from high-performance motorcycles to SaaS tools for continuous improvement. He has advised over 300 companies around the world in lean transformation, including Intel, Harley-Davidson, Crayola, BMW, and Amazon. Jamie co-authored the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, and continues to share his experiences as a Contributing Editor forIndustryWeek and as a blogger at JamieFlinchbaugh.com. He holds degrees from Lehigh University, University of Michigan, and MIT, and continues to teach and mentor on campus. Jamie is best known for helping to transform how we think about lean from a tools-centric model to one based on principles and behaviors. His passion for lean transformation comes from seeking to unlock the great potential that people possess to build inspiring organizations.

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  1. joe sheehan says

    Larry Bossidy made the same point in his book “Execution”, which doesn’t say anything about Lean, but emphasizes the “people” component of the People/Operations/Strategy triangle in management.

    Organizations which implement lean successfully do so because they focus on making the People think about Lean, rather than enforcing Lean directly. Thats what its really all about. Encouraging and education the people to be lean, and not about making the factory lean.

  2. Jamie Flinchbaugh says

    Exactly. So often, HR is about transactions – hiring, firing, payroll. But it isn’t really about strategically getting the right people in the right spot and developing people in the right way. In my mind, that role is more important than the CFO.

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