Lean Leadership

Lean Leadership

A commonly coined phrase tells that leadership is doing the right thing and management is doing things right. Without doubt, to be a great manager you will need to become a leader. In other words, you must have an ability to deliver the day-to-day tasks while also seeing opportunities for change, improvement and the big picture. Our Leadership Development Programme ensures you have the right level of leaders in your organisation, and at the right level.

But does leadership really matter and is leading in a lean environment different?

With regard to the first issue, last year we posted a discussion on Linked In asking our community to identify the most important lean behaviours. The top three responses clearly pointed to leadership needs: first, leaders must be consistent and comprehensive in their application of lean; second, leaders must develop and follow a systematic leadership process (like hoshin kanri or policy deployment); third, leaders must have the vision and belief to make empowerment and continual learning become a reality and not just an aspiration.

With regard to the latter issue, Bob Emiliani  (in his website news pages) highlighted a prevailing tendency for senior management to ‘cherry-pick’ lean tools and techniques rather than embrace the real and demanding challenges of lean leadership. Bob warns,

‘The tools and methods used to improve productivity and reduce costs are to executives what salt, fat and sugar are to dieters: irresistible temptations, but which can cause great harm.’

Professor Peter Hines

Founder, S A Partners