Program for Business Leaders to Help Incorporate Lean into Company Culture

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has started a program called Leadership for Cultural Change (LCC) which offers business leaders of small to mid-sized manufacturing companies an opportunity to work together to learn how to stimulate change in how their employees think and do their work.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has started a program called Leadership for Cultural Change (LCC) which offers business leaders of small to mid-sized manufacturing companies an opportunity to work together to learn how to stimulate change in how their employees think and do their work. The six-month, multi-dimensional program will start in May of 2006.

“The Lean journey starts when a committed and passionate President or CEO decides it’s time to undertake change in his or her company to deliver high quality products or services while striving for continuous improvement and high performance throughout the enterprise. However, just because the leader and their management team is on board, doesn’t necessarily mean that the general employees are even aware of the Lean transformation,” says Robert “Doc” Hall, Editor-in-Chief of AME’s Target publication. “In order for a leader to successfully instill a vigorous working culture, they must know their employees and processes intimately. This is the idea behind our creation of the LCC:  to enable the leader to extend the organization toward the ‘second-stage of lean,’ well beyond the shop floor.”

The ultimate goal of the LCC is to give leaders the tools they need to dig deep and transform their business’ culture. Participants will get training in the skills and competency needed to define and implement a Lean culture throughout their company, get guidance on how to plan and begin a sustainable cultural change, and will receive ongoing coaching for support throughout their transformation. They will be given the tools to assess the company culture, the ability to understand their part in setting and spreading the culture, the skills and understanding to define the desired company culture, and the support and guidance to build a plan and begin to drive the cultural change There will be significant self study, augmented with three two-day seminars in Boulder, Colorado, web-based learning, and personal coaching.

“Toyota, the inventor of Lean, has an expression ‘standardized work’ which refers to the methods by which work is improved and the way it is conducted all day, every day. I prefer to use the term ‘Daily Improvement’ to describe the effort needed to imbed Lean throughout the whole enterprise and make every employee own the process,” says Hall. “The leadership challenge to reach Daily Improvement is huge because the working culture for it contrasts with that of conventional business. Daily improvement depends on process improvement discipline being built into the culture. The goal of the LCC is to get leaders together to learn how to do this and help each other along the way.”

For more information about the Leadership for Cultural Change, contact John Woods at 303-249-7037 or visit http://www.ame.org/index.aspx?page=LCC.  The first session will start in May 2006 with readings, followed by a two-day seminar in Boulder, Colorado.

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