In a business setting one might define culture as the day-to-day experience of an individual worker and how that individual’s experience affects the outcome of the product, service or value provided toward the end user or customer.
To that end cultural change is not accomplished as a once and done initiative, but rather as an evolutionary and even iterative process. Leaders can be intentional and mindful of their role in creating cultural change.
Because Lean is a work improvement methodology that focuses on eliminating waste, eliminating non-value added activities, reducing costs and improving efficiency — without sacrificing safety, value to the customer, or, customer service. Creating a culture of continuous improvement throughout an organization is one of the fundamental principles of Lean. Below are 6 tips which I believe to be fundamental in the development of a lean culture.
1. Develop People. Encourage learning, teamwork and continuous improvement. Provide the tools and the time for people to build knowledge and cultivate a problem solving mindset.
2. Empower Others: Encourage and equip people to make decisions, set goals, and take responsibility.
3. Listen. Make an effort to hear what others are saying, look at people when they talk, ask questions, offer your undivided attention.
4. Build talent within your organization by promoting others areas of responsibility, challenging others for ideas and feedback, encouraging innovation.
5. Go to the “Gemba”. How can you get a feel for what is happening if you are not out in the work areas watching what is going on? Go see for yourself; the real places folks are doing work, observe them and gather real facts and real feedback at the place the work is done
6. Acknowledge the accomplishments of others.
About the Author: Tracy Parks, Certified Productive Environment Specialist and CEO of Simplicated, LLC