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Are You Lean Friendly? Find Out

Kam Gupta, President / Leadership Coach, CIT Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

Keywords: Lean, Leadership, Culture

Industry: Manufacturing

Level: Basic

Abstract

Lean or LSS is practiced in around 50% of the organizations worldwide, based on my readings, observations, and comments from various forums. The exact numbers may never be known. Those who claim to have some kind of LSS in their organization, see some early success happen as a result. Yet, again, from my own perspective, only a low percentage of the companies amongst them really sustain the LSS initiative progressively for a longer period of time. Why? The answer may line close to one’s own heart. Unless we understand our aptitude and attitude towards the LSS, we are bound to jump from one LSS to another LSS initiative, eventually waiting for something better to show up. This has been true from the beginning of QC to TQC to TQM, and to the present, where we hear Quality 4, digitization of quality, Lean, LSS, and many SS colored belts.

I still come across companies, smaller albeit, which dwell in basic QC – inspect, detect, fix, repeat. They have their own, so to speak, ‘Deming’ cycle.

It has always concerned me that when an employees has a really good idea to improve some aspect of a business, the company looks for a budget allocation as a reason to decline that idea. However, when it has to start a program because of customer mandate, somehow it is able to create a budget and find the money. This might be one of the reasons why LSS sustainability is challenged.

Going through Lean and SS training in its early stages of implementation, I learned that both activities are counter-intuitive. That means they must be learned and practiced.

Fast forward, my continued curiosity, observations, and coaching/ training has lead me to come up with an aptitude assessment. It is logical and certainly may lead to better understanding of one’s own motivation for LSS implementation and its sustainability. Come ready to find out about your ‘drift’.


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