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Ask Art: Why Do People Reject Proof that Lean Works?

by Art Byrne
June 11, 2018

Ask Art: Why Do People Reject Proof that Lean Works?

by Art Byrne
June 11, 2018 | Comments (40)

I guess the simplest answer here is that old habits die hard. When you take people out of their comfort zone they tend to fight hard to get back to what they know. I suppose a touch of the “not invented here” syndrome also plays a role.

Back when I was a Group Executive at The Danaher Company we started using The Shingijutsu Company as our lean consultants. These were four individuals who had spent their whole careers at Toyota and had worked directly for Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System implementing TPS in the Toyota Group Companies and in Toyota’s first tier suppliers. We were their first and only client in the US, and focused our initial efforts on a couple of companies in my Group. Jacobs Engine Brake, or “Jake Brake”, led by George Koenigsaecker took the lead and produced great results.

George and I both had strategic planning backgrounds and from the very beginning we saw TPS/Lean as the greatest strategic weapon a company could have. One day at lunch we asked the President of Shingijutsu, Mr. Iwata, how Toyota could let them loose (Ohno had pushed them to leave Toyota and form Shingijutsu) to teach other companies this amazing system. He looked at us and just laughed. “Look, I can tell you about TPS, I can even take you and show you TPS, but I bet you can’t go home and do it,” he said. To this day this is one of the most insightful comments about lean I have ever heard. I can show you but you still won’t be able to do it. Over the years I have seen many examples of this.

One of my other Group companies at Danaher, Holocrome Corporation, made bolts on machines known as cold headers. These machines took a long time to change over. This in fact was one of the company’s biggest problems. We organized a kaizen to reduce the setup time. The company set a target of going from 2 hours to one hour by the end of the week. Our Japanese consultant rejected this at the kick-off meeting and said “no, it must be under 10 minutes.” Everyone thought this was just crazy.

On Friday, however, we stopped production and had all the cold header operators come and watch the results of the kaizen. The set up was done in one minute. We did it several times so they could see how it was done. At the end of the demonstration two operators near me headed back to work and one said to the other, “what did you think of that?” His buddy replied, “well, that was interesting, but I bet they couldn’t do that on my machine.” The machines of course were basically all the same so here was a great example of someone seeing something with their own eyes and still rejecting it.

Another similar example occurred when I was CEO of The Wiremold Company. AME had asked if we could make a presentation at their annual conference. We decided to tell the story of how we reduced the setup time of a 150 ton, coil fed press with a large progressive die from 3 hours and 10 minutes to 1 minute. As most of the key ideas came from our operators, Jose and Carlos, we wanted to have them give a big part of the presentation. They were both from Portugal, had strong accents and have never spoken before 500+ people almost all of whom had college degrees and were engineers and managers. They were understandably pretty reluctant. We coached them through it and they explained the step by step changes that were made. At the end, Carlos, who was the last presenter, showed a film of the one minute changeover. The first question/comment from the audience was, “gee Carlos, you were going awfully fast in that video.” Of course what he was really saying was, I don’t have anyone in my plant that will move that fast so I guess I can go home and ignore the fact that I saw that it is possible to reduce a setup from 3 hours and 10 minutes to one minute. Carlos just looked at him like he was completely out of his mind and then gave the perfect response, “but only for a minute.” My guess was that most of the rest of the audience reacted the same way as the guy who commented. They saw it, didn’t believe it and went home and did nothing.

Another example from my time at Wiremold occurred in our plastic operation. Our bank asked if we could discuss lean with another one of the companies they lent money to and perhaps show them some examples. It turned out that this company had the same size injection molding equipment that we did, purchased from the same vendor. We showed them a 2 minute mold change that had previously taken two and a half hours. We did it several times. On the way back to the conference room the CEO, who was standing right in front of me, said to his VP of Operations, “what did you think of that?” The response was, “well that was interesting but it doesn’t really apply to us as we like to have long runs.” Yikes!

I could give you countless other examples but it has always amazed me how you can show someone something that is totally relevant and helpful to them and still have it rejected. Even more surprising to me is that even if someone did have some interest it would be unlikely that they would grasp the strategic implications of such vast reductions in setup times. It just doesn’t fit their preconceived idea of things. They see it as an interesting one off kind of thing and fail to grasp the impact it would have on their ability to deliver more value to their customers, gain market share and grow if all their set ups could be reduced.

I guess the old saying of “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” holds true for lean as well. It does, however, help to explain why so many companies struggle to get the results they should be getting with lean.

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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40 Comments | Post a Comment
Bernd June 11, 2018

Hi Art, thanks for the words, it's like listening to own daily business, so it's good to hear from a famous lean guy the same experience. The question is how to solve the problem and it is one point if it's a visitor of your facility but another one with a colleague or member in your team who should follow a change initiative and simply "rejects" it. Bring the horse to water or as a former lean coach gave me always the same answer: "apply the tools", so I teach my folks a methode, but let them apply it and let them learn what happens, then the result is their baby and not only following an instruction. That takes longer but is more sustainable.

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art byrne June 11, 2018

Bernd, thanks for your comments. Your right this problem is pretty widespread. It can't be solved overnight but your approach of getting people own the results can have a positive impact over time. It will work better than just giving an edict and expecting people to follow.

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Bob Emiliani June 11, 2018
1 Person AGREES with this comment

Rejecting proof that Lean works has long been the central problem in the uptake of Lean management among business leaders. In my research, I have identified dozens of economic, social, political, historical, philosophical, and business reasons that fully explain why people reject proof that Lean works. These are interconnected and interdependent systems of thinking and practice that discriminate against Lean and therefore put Lean at a great disadvantage. The problem of rejecting or ignoring Lean has now been solved. We can move on to the next step, which is to identify and test countermeasures. To learn more, see http://bit.ly/2HAVrpL

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art byrne June 11, 2018

Bob, I think your work explaining all the conflicting reasons why people reject lean is both excellent and very helpful. I have always thought of this in a simpler way, that it is just human nature to reject something that goes against everything that you have learned so far or that you might perceive to be risky and therefore against your best intrests. But lets not conclude that getting more companies to implement lean is therefore hopeless. I don't think it is. We may however want to switch from a tools based cost reduction approach of making the argument to one that focuses on showing CEOs and Owners what their results could look like under lean vs. their current approach. This won't cause a revolution but it may start to get more companies to make the conversion.

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Bob Emiliani June 11, 2018

Hi Art – In my comment, did not suggest that getting more companies to implement Lean was hopeless -- just that Lean was at a great disadvantage for the reason I cited. What I said was that the true nature of the problem, which is now more clearly revealed than ever, requires new and different countermeasures.

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art byrne June 11, 2018

Bob, thanks for clarifying. What counter measures would you suggest?

Phil Coy June 11, 2018

Here's an illustration of Art's point.  Setup reduction isn't well understood mainly because of big batch thinking.  I was working in a specialty steel mill with all coiled steel.  We came across a process where they had a week's worth of coils stacked up ahead of it.  It was a progressive normalizer where the temperature could be adjusted for each coil one at a time.  It didn't make any difference the order in which the coils arrived, it could handle whatever was next one by one.  Truly there was no changeover.  I asked them why they had a week of coils sitting there.  "Well, that's what we set as the queue time in our MRP" was the answer.  I told them to get rid of the queue time and watch what happens.  The coils just disappeared over a couple of weeks.  They dropped a week's worth of coils at that process by doing absolutely nothing... no kaizen, no operator changes.  Just thinking differently.

That launched a complete review of their setups across the board.  We did an EPEI analysis of every process and told them to set their queue times in MRP to the EPEI.  They dropped 30% of their WIP in 60 days by doing absolutely nothing.  Of course they were completely awash in inventory to begin but its hard to conceive of lower hanging fruit.  Just thinking differently.

We held a review afterward where I tried to explain how they should continue since they woud have real work to do to continue to reduce inventory.  Both their Ops VP and their Supply Chain VP were there.  

I told them "Run as many changeovers as you have capacity to do.  This reduces your batch size to as low as possible and therefore reduces your inventory to as low as possible." 

The Supply Chain VP has his aha moment and gets it.  Of course it reinforces his KPIs.  The Operations VP thinks I am insane.  Partly because it goes against his KPIs.  They had some basic education needed on their executive team so that both could understand the impact of batch size on inventory.

At the end of our engagement, they reduced $16M in inventory by doing nothing over a couple of months.  The plant had over 400 products and around 60-70 processes.  Not trivial but I have software to all this EPEI analysis in complex high mix value streams.  It cost them 8 days of consulting.  They just needed to think differently and then have the courage to try it.

This example is a huge outlier for the hard work that lean really is but I hope it captures the point about learning to think differently and the courage to try it.

Phil

 

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art byrne June 11, 2018

Phil, wow, thanks for the great example. Your certainly right when you say "it captures the point about learning to think differently and the courage to try it." Unfortunately, this normally requires the type of outside stimulous that you provided. Without this it is hard for companies to over come the "this is the way we always did it" sydrome and improve. Even in your wonderful example, if the outside push is removed the company will have a tendancy to drift backwards over time or at least not continue to move forward and eliminate even more inventory. There is always more.

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Phil Coy June 11, 2018

I ran into this company at AME where I met their Supply Chain VP.  He was looking for new ideas.  I still remember our first conversation.  Steve said in effect:

- I believe that we are running with too much inventory (under 2 turns...)

- I believe we can run with a lot less.

- I don't know how much less.

- I don't know how to know.

- Can you help?

I explained EPEI but it didn't register.  But Steve felt there was something to what I was talking about.   He booked out a trip for 2 days on personal time and travel to spend just time with me to absorb and let it settle.  Eventually he became convinced and thought he would try it slowly over 18 months.

Then their union walked out on an extended strike.  It was months and belligerent with violent incidents on the line and temporary workers housed in trailers.  The management team was driving fork lifts. 

With that as external incentive, they had no choice but to get aggressive and push into it.  The $16M in WIP reduction was a huge element in their surviving. 

Sadly, after the changes they haven't kept up their efforts.  It was almost as if they figured that they had gotten "enough" from lean.

So that's the "rest of the story" which I see all too often.

Phil

 

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art byrne June 13, 2018
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Haha. Phil thanks for "the rest of the story." A sad ending to be sure but as I said in my initial response to you, not surprising at all. Lean is hard to do so once you take away the outside experts and the internal pressure for change most companies will revert back to where they were. In fact, if the subject of lean comes up again the normal response would be, "Oh, we tried that once and it didn't work."

Mark Graban June 11, 2018

Why do people reject Lean even with evidence?

Why do some surgeons reject the idea of pre-surgical time outs and checklists?

Why do we not eat as healthy as we should? Why don't we exercise as much as we should?

Why do people reject all sorts of things that are good and positive for them?

Well... psychology... people are complex and complicated. That's why I recommend a book like "Motivational Interviewing for Leadership" or the great webinar that Ron Oslin did for LEI not long ago on this subject.

Why do people complain about others not doing what's right or best for them?

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Mark Graban June 11, 2018

Art - please watch the webinar if you haven't already:

https://www.lean.org/events/webinarhome.cfm#coachpastresistance

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Bob Emiliani June 11, 2018

It's not just psychology, though that is an important aspect that has not yet received enough attention. What makes this so difficult a problem is that there are numerous factors that are operating simultaneously. There is a psychological / neurological component, plus economic, social, political, and historical components, plus a philosophical component, plus a business component (related to market economy, etc.). We complain about others not doing what's right or best for them because we don’t understand the problem. A tremendours amount of progress has been made, though there is still more to do.

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art byrne June 11, 2018

Mark, thanks for your comments. All great observations and all correct of course. Human nature is complicated and makes decisions based on past experience and what you are comfortable with. I was merely trying to point out that when trying to make a shift as significant as lean that you can't assume that just showing someone a better way will automatically convert them. It usually won't. You have to keep going back and make improvements over and over before most people will enen start to come on board.

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Mark Graban June 12, 2018

Right, but you can’t keep showing benefits if somebody won’t even get started with Lean. That’s where I think an approach like motivational interviewing allows somebody to tap into a person’s motivations and goals instead of starting with tools, kaizen events, or methods.

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Bob Emiliani June 12, 2018

Hi Mark - Generally agree, though the type of kaizen I am familiar with does address most people's motivations and goals: discovery, learning, improvement, making greater or more meaningful contributions.  

Claire Everett June 11, 2018
2 People AGREE with this comment

Hi Art

Thanks for a grat post.

I think that another reason that leaders reject lean is because if they accept it then they have to admit that they've been wrong about the best way to run the company.  Admitting that lean is superior means admiting that their current methods are inferior.

Admitting that you've been wrong is hard at the best of times, but admitting that your methods for running a company is wrong... well that's right up there on the really hard end of the difficulty scale.

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Stan W June 12, 2018

Hi Clair,

I understand what you are saying. We all have some resistance to change, particularly when it challenges long held views. When it comes to implementing changes in the workplace however, viewing the changes as right versus wrong will only lead to resistance to those changes. There are many ways to build a widget, some will produce high value for the customer at minimal costs, while others will not. The first case should be the goal for everyone. Keeping the discussion moving in concert with the stated goal will bring the best results over time, even in the face of resistance to change.     

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art byrne June 13, 2018

Claire, your right, admitting you are wrong is a very big hurdle  for most leaders. It means you have to reject the things that got you to be the leader in the first place. But as the leader your job should be to constantly strive to make your company and its people better. On our first day working with Shingijutsu, one of the first things we did was take a plant tour. We only got about 300-400 feet before they said they had seen enough. We went back in the meeting room and Mr. Iwata wrote NO GOOD in big block letters on the board. He then turned around and said, "Look, everything here is no good. What do you want to do about it?" That was the begining of lean at Danaher Corporation. How would most CEOs react to being told this? My point of course is that while admitting you are wrong is hard it is not fatal. The desire to get better should overide the personal feelings. 

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Claire Everett June 13, 2018

Hi Art

I agree that admitting you're wrong is not fatal, I would actualy say it's a critical part of being human.  None of us are right all the time, being able to admit that you're wrong is a key part of learning and developing both professionaly and personally.

Anyone who refuses to do this will repeat the same mistakes and behaviours over and over.

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Salim Reza June 12, 2018

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink... this is only true. Thanks for sharing. Is there any countermeasure in the this situations?

Best

Salim

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Matt Kellett June 13, 2018

Salim,

 

The proverbial trick is to run that horse and get him thirsty first. What Mark talks to is correct (thanks for the video link can’t wait to watch) you have to be in sync with the leaders motivations and machinations. Once you understand that, you can either align your lean deployment or see that the leader is not in a place currently to adopt the change. If they aren’t ready yet; you have your X (their motivations) and you can build a process of influence to work with them 1:1 to shift that.  Invites to conferences, shared benchmarking visits, etc and so forth. But like anything how strongly are they bought in at that point?  Paradigm shifts help but those are hard to manufacture. 

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art byrne June 13, 2018

Salim, I think getting a horse to drink is easier than getting most leaders to even consider a change to lean let alone adopt it. Horses are not as complex as humans. As for counter measures, I think you have to first give Owners/CEOs a compelling reason as to why they should go down the lean path. A bunch of good examples of what other companies have acheived along with what these kind of results would mean for their company once they acheived them would be a way to set the stage. Next have them visit a few successful lean companies to see what can be done and talk with their management teams so they can understand what was involed in getting them there. Then initiate a few kaizen events at their own company with senior leadership on every team. This should prove that lean will work in their company and give great results. This should hopefully get them started but it will require time, outside expertise and constant CEO pressure plus lots of kaizens to build momentum and get them to a point where they will not slide backwards.

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Raji June 12, 2018

Thanks, Art for the Article and the great inputs from eminent Lean Leaders.  Food for though on how we overcome the barriers to lean implementation.  Could this also be due to lack.of urgency and the lack of pressure to deliver on time to customers or time to market.  Would a competitor analysis/comparison trigger the desire to implement Lean?

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art byrne June 13, 2018

Raji, thanks for your comments. Idon't think that a lack of urgency or a lack of pressure to deliver to customers on time will help propel a company to lean. In fact the lack of urgency is what will keep them going along their current path. Why change? Likewise just doing a competitor comparison won't help much either as they are just comparing themselves to other companies that operate just like they do. Hospitals for example do extensive benchmarking studies but this is a waste of time as they are comparing themselves to a bunch of other poorly run hospitals. In fact I don't think there is any one thing that will get a management team or CEO to say, aha, we have to shift to lean. One thing that I do think could help is to show CEOs what their results could look like under lean vs. what they are doing now. This isn't a sure thing either but as their main role is to increase enterprise value this should at least get them thinking in the right direction.

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Bob Emiliani June 13, 2018
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Hi Art – I agree with you that showing CEOs what the results could look like with Lean isn't a sure thing. The problem, of course, is that CEOS have many ways to increase enterprise value without having to bother with Lean. Lean is one of many choices they could make, and surely the most difficult to do among their many choices of actions to take to increase enterprise value.

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Claire Everett June 13, 2018

Hi Raji

I agree that a lack of urgency could be one of the reasons that leaders are not adopting Lean, not the only one, but it's certainly a factor.  Whatever change management process you use one of the key steps is always creating urgency, or a burning platform, without this most change goes no where.

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Robert June 12, 2018

Hey Art... I completely agree that this is a pervasive problem.  It really stems from a few different issues:

1.  Change - most people are fearful of change.  This is the way I have always done it and it works.  Even if you have evidence that what they are doing DOES NOT work or what you suggest will improve their lives, people may not accept it.  It is not just in the world of Lean but in everything.  They will have a few reasons:  Either Risk of something new and so they will wait to see others go first... or just simply not wanting to.  People who are sick may be told to change their diet and exercise, but they don't. 

2.  Other Sexy Buzz words - I remember that in the past Six Sigma and Lean were big terms.  You could simply attach that term to your project and it would get approved and funded even if what you were doing was not really Lean or Six Sigma.  Because of that, the term got diluted and lost meaning.  Now the new words are RPA, AI, and the ever vague term Digital Transformation.

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art byrne June 13, 2018

Robert, your right there are far more reasons not to change than there are to change and lean isn't the only approach out there. There is lots of competition. In addition the shift to lean is a journey of many years and most people seek instant results. Even if they start down the lean path and get good initial results many companies will still be looking for the "next great thing" and will stop their lean implementation way before they have even acheived very much. When I was running Wiremold I introduced a small GE Aircraft engine plant to lean and got them working with Shingijutsu. When I called to see how it was going they said they were making great progress and as long as they said they were doing Six Sigma GE just left them alone. Maybe the secrect is to do lean but call it RPA, AI or Digital Transformation.

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Phil Coy June 13, 2018

Art,

In terms of resistance to change I've read Bob's excellent research citing the many cultural elements and especially appreciated the differences in mindset of the "executive class priviledge" as setting lean up to be very challenging.

I think that David Bovis has tapped into the elements of emotion and volition that override rational consideration too often and appreciate his deep dive into brain science.  Lots there to mine.

Michael Balle wrote recently in a post entitled "The Crucial Battle" about the difference between the truly visionary lean CEO who seems to be exceptionally rare and their difference in mindset from "the rest". 

Your reply to my post about needing some external crisis that forces change picks up on a theme. I wonder if the visionaries all end up framing their commitment in terms of ultimate survival from whatever external challengers there are over whatever timeframe and who they understand their customer is and how they provide value.

Would value your perspective.  

Thank you,

Phil

 

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Bob Emiliani June 13, 2018

Hi Phil - Thanks, and allow me to jump in on this one. As I said in the book Triumph of Classical management Over Lean Management, "Even Lean’s supposed savior, 'the burning platform' – a condition of severe financial distress – has proven to be no match for either the Wealth Creation Playbook or executive culture." In other words, the "burning platform" (a crisis) while occassionally effective, is largely overrated as a precursor to executive commitment to Lean. The best evidence to-date informs us that the CEOs who truly desire a Lean transformation is idiosyncratic. Meaning, it depends upon the individual. And the process for finding that CEO is stochastic (i.e. randomly determined). So, there is more to do.

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Tim Anderson June 14, 2018

Great read. Reassuring re randomness of leaders. Thought it was just me.....

Thanks for a great discussion.

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art byrne June 15, 2018

Tim, thanks for your comments. As Bob Emiliani points out finding leaders who desire a lean transformation is idiosyncratic [i.e. depends on the individual] and is randomly determined. I would add that in my experience at least some of this can be pre determined through simple personnality screening. We used a 30 question screen for new hires and promotions at Wiremold to make sure we got the right kind of team players and managers and it was very effective. When it comes to predictng which CEOs might be effective at lean this might also help. To be more specific, we are all insecure to some extent and some people are very insecure. Being very insecure, however, doesn't mean you are not smart and as a result many very insecure people become CEOs or leaders. They tend to be very risk averse and need total control. They want to know the answer before they ask the question so they won't be embarrased. The same is true for the "command-and-control" leaders and CEOs. They want to cotrol and dictate everything. When something goes wrong the first question they ask is "Who?" Who screwed up, not what is the problem and how to we fix it. I don't know what percentage of CEOs these two personality types make up but I wouldn't be surprised that it is in the 40-50% range. Whatever the percentage these two personality types are very unlikely candidates to ever try and convert to lean. Lean is nothing but a continuous series of "leaps of faith" into the unknown. Everytime you change a process or move equipment the question of "but what if it doesn't work" is always there. But these two personality types can't abide that kind of uncertainty and as a result are unlikely to do lean. Depending on what percentage they are of the overall leader/CEO population it almost eliminates that percentage from the potential lean population. On the plus side it is great news for those that are willing to make the lean turnaround as you will have unfair competitive advantage for as long as you compete against companies with these type of leaders. 

sid joynson June 13, 2018

Hi Art.

I think one of the problems of selling 'Lean', is the name.

What does it mean? If senior management don't understand, they are unlikely to admit their ignorance. 

We have always run our programmes under the heading of, 

'Creating a World Class Company.'                                                                                       

Creating a total quality company that provides total customer care.

What is not to like. Who would not want to manage or work for an organisation with this ambition? Nothing to explain. We just need to show them how to do it.

 

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art byrne June 15, 2018
2 People AGREE with this reply

Sid, thanks for your input and example. Your right that "lean" may not be the best name for this strategic approach to running a business. When I first started this in 1982 it was called "Just-In-Time" and then known as "The Toyota Production System" or TPS. From those beginnings I thought the term Lean was an improvement in that the prior names suggested an approach mainly for manufacturing companies while lean can apply more broadly to any industry. Even so the concepts and priciples developed by Toyota are still the basis for this approach no matter what you call it. Those who drift from what Toyota has taught us will almost always under acheive what was possible. Having said that I think everyone should feel free to call it whatever works best in their company. As long as you understand it to be a strategic approach to remove the waste from your own operations in order to deliver more value to your customers and adhere to the four fundamentals of; work to takt time, one piece flow, standard work, and pull system you will get great results.

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dan prock June 16, 2018

Hi Art

Thanks for your helpful conversations going back to 2003 in Hartford. I was an engineer but one of my professors in psychology once. said, "Never underestimate the client's ability to deny the data!" Recent research shows that thinking doens't drive our lives, that's the old Greek myth of the horses and the driver. Our thinking is organized to support our feelings. And feelings are organized to support our current-state of ego. What's the way beyone ego?

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art byrne June 17, 2018

Dan, thanks for your input. Yes our thinking tends to support our feelings, past experience and of course our ego. There is no reason to change if you think you already have all the answers and understand all the options. People are complex and that is why just showing them proof of something like lean doesn't lead to automatic lean conversions. Certain personality types will never be capable of making the lean leap. Just too scary. But I think if you can focus on those who might be willing to listen then getting them to understand their role as leaders is to make things better and increase enterprise value. From there you can begin to show examples of how lean companies have had significant increases in enterprise value and that the same could happen for their company. You have to get the ego out of it and make the strategic business case for lean. They still might reject it but even so if a few more can adopt lean then we are that much further ahead. Step by step. Don't expect miricales.

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dan prock June 18, 2018

Yes, perhaps patiently waiting for a "tipping point" where the majority or all of a leadership team buys in, or a new CEO shows the way.

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Phil Coy June 18, 2018

I don't know that patiently waiting is much of a strategy for change.   If the leadership team won't look at the "big picture" of lean transformaiton I would start looking for a couple of "point solutions" where at least a small win could be gained.  Then find the next one and the one after that... and eventually you have gained some credibility.

A good lean consulting friend uses this approach:

- Select the metric you want to change

- Understand the behavior that moves the metric (often the hardest part)

- Change the process to change the behavior

- The metric will change.

Then repeat until someone pays attention because the metrics are changing.

It's the long slow path when you have to earn your way into any incremental change.  And frustrating when you see a lot more could be accomplished in a larger step but if no one has the appetite to risk a larger effort at least there's some progress being made.

Phil

Jorge B. Wong July 31, 2018

Art: Your feedback and confirmation is appreciated.

"What's measured (and rewarded) gets done, even if it's wrong" Deming. 

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