Since we've been talking about leadership and Lean, it's coincidence that I got this email from a reader. I'll let the blog readers answer this
Posted with permission:
I am [name withheld], 25yrs old, working for a small manufacturing firm of over 70 employees in (Saitama Ken) Japan.
I have been working for eight months in the current company, staring from the scratch with educating the employees through, Learning by doing – Muda, Mura, Muri, 5S, PDCA, Autonomous maintenance, drawing the Current state map, via lectures and group activities lead by a Kaizen leader (Shop floor worker-only ).
I have had my share of employee resistance and management resistance. But the most persistent of all is that from the president who is 41 years old and refuses of go to (Gemba) shop floor.
As a company, we take 30 minutes (Kaizen Time) everyday for Kaizen activities and during the Kaizen time, the president does come to the shop floor. Subject to being present in the company during the Kaizen time. But, he does not agree on going to the shop floor on regular basis – during the actual working hours. He thinks that it is not his job to go to Gemba (shop floor) and observe. But the top managers and Floor managers job and he takes decisions based on the data in files and information from the top managers and floor managers, who in the past did not observe the gemba them selves. But have now started going to gemba regularly for the last one week, due to my repeated reminder.
I would like to request for your thoughts, if possible of the blog readers and contributors about, what is the role of the President in a firm, which wants to or is implementing Lean ?
What do you think? Click comments to answer…
I think this is an interesting example that shows “not all Japanese companies are Lean.” Also maybe think about how a 25 year old can influence senior leadership. That's quite a challenge my reader has.
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