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Developing People with Capability for Lean (1 Day Class)


Through a combination of observations, descriptions, examples, exercises and discussions participants will:

  • Identify the type of management environment necessary for successful and sustained individual and operational performance
  • Describe the role and behaviors of the manager that create and maintain a lean environment and contrast them to those that undermine it
  • Consider the functions of the lean tools in supporting successful performance
  • Assess the extent to which the management environment in their own company or organization supports lean
  • Identify and prioritize the core competencies needed by people working in a lean operation
  • Describe their own roles and problem solving responsibilities in the context of the strategic priorities of their organizations
  • Recognize the management behaviors that take away responsibility and hinder employee thinking and initiative
  • Consider the difference between On-the-Job Training and Development and classroom education and recognize the function of each in a lean context
  • Identify and assess the capabilities they need to develop to perform successfully in their own current roles and identify OJD responsibilities and assignments that could help them develop those capabilities
  • Reflect on recent attempts to coach a direct report or mentor a co-worker and identify ways their actions and assumptions either supported or hindered the development of the other person


There is a growing concern these days about sustaining lean improvements after they are made. How to maintain the gains from those improvements and build on them is the burning question for many organizations and lean leaders. The fact that has been overlooked by many organizations is that while lean coordinators and facilitators and kaizen teams are invaluable resources for introducing and implementing lean tools, kaizen events and value stream mapping projects, it is the role of managers and executives to create an environment and the systems in which employees can and will take responsibility for the practices, behaviors and thinking that achieve, sustain and build on improvements made with lean. Drawing on observations, practices and values from Toyota, this workshop will examine the role of managers and executives in the development of people and operations capable of successful lean performance.

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of a supportive management environment for lean performance. Participants will explore the manger’s role in people development and responsibilities in creating a learning environment. They will identify the perspectives, capabilities and behaviors required by the role and examine organizational systems and practices that support managers in carrying out their role to develop and sustain capability for performance in a lean operation. Participants will also have the opportunity to assess how the culture and systems of their own organizations support the development of capability for successful lean operation and individual performance.


Course Outline:


  • The Lean Manager’s role in people development
  • The Manager’s partners in development and their roles
  • The three levels of processes and practices necessary to develop people and capability for sustained lean performance and growth

An enabling performance and development environment:

  • Starting from respect for people
  • Operator-out or line-back organization of an operation
  • Defining role and performance requirements in a value stream and strategic context
  • Using lean tools and practices to create capable systems that enable successful performance
  • Making the normal easily distinguishable from the abnormal
  • Leading by defining purpose and cascading responsibility
  • Establishing and maintaining problem solving responsibility

Opportunities for the development of core capabilities:

  • Providing a description of core Lean capabilities by level
  • Selecting on the basis core capabilities and readiness for role
  • Offering pathways of education in role and required capabilities by level
  • Using role clarification in performance planning and goal setting
  • Linking performance and development in a performance planning and review process
  • Using rotation and temporary assignment to provoke development

Development through the Job to Do the Job:

  • Recognizing the difference between on-the-Job training (OJT)/on-the-Job development (OJD) and education
  • Assessing the capabilities and needs of the individual performers

Giving stretch assignment:

  • Focusing on the problem solving and job handling basics
  • Providing opportunities for working outside the box or silo
  • Defining coaching and mentoring roles
  • Requiring and supporting self-reflection

Who should attend:

  • Line managers/function heads and lean facilitators and coordinators who directly support them in their lean transformation efforts
  • HR managers and professionals are welcome with the recognition that their role is more support than direct responsibility for development of individual lean performers (other than their reports and themselves)

Please note that this workshop is paired up with the Coaching Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders program. It is not a requirement to attend both classes, but we highly recommend that you consider taking these two workshops together. While the workshop Developing People with Capabilities for Lean provides a general overview of the people development system and the role of management in creating the environment of problem solving and continuous improvement, the Coaching Skills workshop allows you to try the sensei approach to coaching and leading and experience the fundamental difference between the role, skills and behaviors of managers in a conventional and lean environment.


Workshop Suggestion:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshop or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within it.
Suggested Reading for this Workshop:
Locations and Dates for Developing People with Capability for Lean

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Price: $800.00 ($700.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

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Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop.  A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  If cancellation is required to comply with coronavirus guidelines from federal, state, or local authorities, no cancellation fee will apply.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.