How to Get Started with a Lean Culture?
Here's another Lean Blog reader question from Joe, who writes:
Last year I was part of an ERP implementation team at our company, and while part of that I became interested in lean manufacturing. For reference I manage our Field Service group and am a mechanical engineer by trade with some manufacturing experience.
In any case this opportunity created exposure to all parts of the business. In the middle of this project I read the Toyota Culture book which bascially changed my perspective on business and how to treat people. There are a number of us here that are interested in pursuing a culture of continuous improvement based on many of the core values we read in the Toyota Way.
However, we are having difficulty with the question of “How do you get started on this culture transformation?”. I was thinking this would be a beneficial discussion for those out there trying to figure out how to get started as there is a lot of information and a lot of opinions.
It is my suggestion to our production group to start working on lean projects, go to the shop floor and spend time with our group leaders, begin a concentrated effort on training people (both how to do their jobs, set expectations and also how to act as a problem solving team) as opposed to figuring out our future vision for a culture. Most importantly, I am focusing on how we treat people being at the core.
We have been a family owned, private company since 1892 and we certainly have a culture in place. We obviously have some cultural strengths, but as you can imagine 117 years also brings with it some cultural non-strengths. So, I am most interested in a discussion on “How do you get started…or what are some of the pros/cons of the different approaches.”
There are probably no easy answers to this… in fact, whole books have been written on Lean Culture including:
- Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions
- Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way
What do you think? Click “comments” to share your thoughts for Joe and the other readers…