For many lean leaders and coaches a primary concern is obtaining the full engagement of everyone on a project team in lean practices. Despite best efforts at directing people toward lean behaviors universal lean buy-in is hard to achieve. That is because the traditional way of implementing lean practices fails to tap the holistic aspects of lean as it was developed at Toyota Motor Corporation. Lean is not so much a set of management principles, an operations strategy, or work methodology as it is a very human story from which observers have developed management principles, operations strategies and work methodologies.
The lean story begins with an understanding of human nature at work, the foundation for which was set by Sakichi Toyoda and his son Kiichiro. The founders of Toyota Motor established basic practices that continue to serve as a catalyst for sustained enthusiasm for both continuous improvement and ground-breaking innovation – enthusiasm that has survived several leadership generations. These basic practices, rooted in human nature, are identifiable and can be methodically created within project teams.
February 21 Joanna McGuffey of Unconventional Works and I presented a Lean Construction Blog webinar identifying practices for building sustainable enthusiasm for lean on projects. A copy of the webinar is available through Lean Construction Blog. Click on the link for more information.