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The Role Of Lean Leaders

What does a lean leader do exactly? Are they someone that you can train within the company or do you have to hire an outside company to come out and do all the training for you? A lean leader is needed if you want to implement lean manufacturing in the right way and to find a way to improve the company and to offer higher quality products to your customers.

A lean leader is a person that not only understands lean but they highly believe in lean manufacturing and in the concepts that it teaches. This person need to be able to change the mindsets of many people to help them understand the importance of lean and to start thinking lean all the time. A good lean leader will be able to sustain lean throughout the company even when some people are starting to doubt the effectiveness of lean.

With lean you will have different managers that are responsible for several outcomes in the process of lean thinking and lean implementation. You need to know how to choose the best leaders to suit the area that they are dealing with. Sometimes you will have issues dealing with employee behaviors and you will need to deal with implementation of programs such as behavior based safety. Are you choosing employees that know how to work with a variety of employee personalities? Can they handle talking to people as they become aggressive and resistant to mindset changes? You have to search for lean leaders that do not become rattled in these situations and to find people that really can be trusted and respected by others in their company. The more you search for a good lean leader, the easier it will be for you to find additional employees that can assist you in creating a strong and profitable organization as you get to know the skill set of many different employees.

Lean leaders will end up focusing on problem solving. They need to be able to understand where the problems are and what can be done about them. The lean leaders have to stand strong in getting people to follow the program or it will fail. If you do not have the support of management and the company, the program will not work. It has to become part of the daily tasks and it needs to be able to provide for the outcome in a positive manner. People want immediate changes and they want to see the results now. It's not always easy to get people to be patient with programs but with the right type of dedication and hard work, you will be able to get your employees to understand the importance of a mindset change and really following suit with lean.

Interview several lean leaders to find out what they feel the challenges are facing your company. You want to see just how ambitious the lean leader will be and what they are going to do in order to meet their goals and to change the company. You also need to talk to them about the lean tools that they plan on using. Some companies respond well to Kaizen and 5S where others are unable to make the tools work. The good thing with lean is that there are many tools for you to choose from so it's not too hard for you to find a way to make a difference with lean. Just be particular in choosing the right person to become the lean manager to make sure it will go off without a hitch and that people are in for a mindset change for good!

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