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Leadership and Having an Effective Plan
By: Andrew Quibell | July 16, 2018
You wouldn’t want to be known as a source of “fake news” but are you practicing More »
Leadership Stories From One of Lean's Fastest Growing Communities of Practice
By: Lean Leaper | June 19, 2015
On the heels of the Lean Healthcare Summit earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, we've gathered three stories in which leaders share their personal "why" for taking up lean practice and doing things differently. More »
Leadership Without Giving Solutions (from a Fire Fighter's Perspective)
By: Greg Lane | March 20, 2015
LEI faculty member Greg Lane shares a lean coaching story from his own life, in which he finds himself advising a friend on how best to position himself for a promotion to fire chief. The result is a powerful little story of lean management and the thoughtfulness and discipline it really takes to lead. More »
Leadership Then and Now
By: Lean Leaper | June 27, 2014
John Shook and the Leaper look toward the future of leadership. More »
Leadership Q&A: Robert Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc: “Guiding Principles of Leadership”
By: Marchwinski, Chet | July 11, 2011
From the LEI senior executive series on Lean Leadership:CEO Robert Chapman describes how the company's Guiding Principles of Leadership merge with lean thinking at this $1.  1 billion global manufacturer of capital equipment and provider of engineering consulting. The result is an environment that brings out the best in people and a business that sustains significant long-term growth. The purpose of this merger is more than creating a nice place to work. Lean principles provide a practical way to live the Guiding Principles by continually strengthening the company by inspiring team members throughout the organization to improve themselves as well as the quality More »
Leadership Q&A: Joel Zeller, director of logistics for Polaris Industries and Robert Martichenko, LEI faculty member, author of Building the Lean Fulfillment Stream
By: Marchwinski, Chet | January 12, 2009
From the LEI senior executive series on Lean Leadership:Robert Martichenko, LEI faculty member, co-author of Building the Lean Fulfillment Stream, and Joel Zeller, director of logistics for Polaris Industries, describe the progress and pitfalls in applying lean supply chain principals, including how the conversion began, why, key challenges, and the reaction of suppliers. More »
Leadership Q&A: Chris Vogel, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Home and Consumer Finance
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 12, 2009
Articles; Audio
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:Listen to a conversation with Chris Vogel based on the above interview. (Note: This is a large audio file. Allow time for downloading.  ) More »
Leadership Q&A: John Wilson, executive vice president of manufacturing, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
By: Marchwinski, Chet | January 12, 2009
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:Wilson talks to the Lean Enterprise Institute about the executive's role in a lean conversion. Wilson offers his take on why some companies fail to achieve adequate results from the conversion process and what executives can do to avoid such a problem. He also discusses executive lean training and what you can do to convince the boss to pursue a lean transformation. (Read the case study about the lean transformation of New Balance, "For Athletic Shoe Company, the Soul of Lean Management Is Problem Solving.  ") More »
Leadership Q&A: Chris Vogel, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Home and Consumer Finance
By: Marchwinski, Chet; | January 12, 2009
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:When the Federal Reserve entered a period of continually lowering interest rates to keep the economy afloat after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Wells Fargo was flooded with paperwork as real estate transaction volume more than doubled. Existing technology did not scale well and existing processes were stressed to capacity. Vogel describes how Operations responded with new automation, but more importantly, with leaner processes for handling paperwork, based on the Toyota Production System. He also discussses management challenges, structural changes, and how to sustain improvements. (Vogel currently is an LEI faculty member and More »
Leadership Q&A: Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Co.
By: Taninecz, George | January 12, 2009
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:In the late 1990s, Ariens Co.  faced a blizzard of problems. The iconic maker of snow blowers, mowers, and string trimmers faced a cash-flow crisis, dated product line, and mountains of inventory. As the new CEO of the family business, Dan Ariens launched a lean conversion. In discussing the transformation, he talks about the business challenges, leadership changes he had to make, his personal management style, and the behaviors that support the lean leap. (Read the LEI original success story about Ariens lean intern program "Making Lean Leaders.  ") More »
Leadership Q&A: Dr. Jack Billi, associate dean and associate vice president for medical affairs
By: Marchwinski, Chet; | January 12, 2009
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:Jack Billi, M.  D.  , associate dean for clinical affairs, University of Michigan Medical School, professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education, and associate vice president for medical affairs,University of Michigan, is leading a lean transformation of the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS), which encompasses 18,000 employees, an 817-bed hospital, 100 clinics, and a medical school with 700 students, 1,000 residents, and 1,600 faculty physicians. (Read the Success Story about the lean transformation of UMHS, "Fighting Cancer with Linear Accelerators and Accelerated Processes.  ") More »
What Is Your Leadership Model?
By: Nicolas Chartier | September 13, 2019
In this reflection based on his work as CEO Lean is a leadership model: for more than 60 years now it has been developed, analyzed, tested, adapted; largely by Toyota but also by many others, copying, adding, evolving. More »
Learning the Social and Technical Aspects of Lean on the Kentucky Lean Leadership Tour
By: Lean Leaper | August 23, 2019
Why join the upcoming US Learning Tour in Kentucky? This interview between Josh Howell, John Shook and Jamie Bonini discusses why this tour will help people understand the Toyota Production System as an organizational culture of highly engaged people, solving problems or innovating to drive performance. More »
The Road to Becoming a Lean Leadership Team Has Potholes
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | February 25, 2019
Lean veteran Orry Fiume shares the story how the leadership team at The Wiremold Company took on the challenging work of transitioning from being traditional, functional, independent executives to becoming a Lean leadership team. More »
People First Leadership: A Conversation by Jim Morgan with Alan Mulally
By: Jim Morgan | January 29, 2019
Alan Mulally is a brilliant engineer who led historic transformations as CEO of Boeing Commercial and then Ford Motor Company. But just as important as what he accomplished, is how he accomplished it. His people first, inclusive approach to leadership not only created great products and successful companies, but also created an organization people wanted to be a part of. More »
Tips for Proving the Financial Value of Lean to Leadership
By: Jean Cunningham | February 20, 2018
Of the many aspects of lean accounting, one that has proven especially useful is the principle of “cost avoidance.  ” Today on the Lean Post, lean accounting pioneer Jean Cunningham explains what this is and why it’s a must-know for any finance professional. More »
It's Not All About the Cash: How to Help Leadership Understand Lean's Financial Benefits
By: Jean Cunningham | October 18, 2017
Lean's cost savings might not show up immediately on the income statement -- but that doesn't mean there were no cost savings! Oftentimes the financial benefits of lean are other benefits in disguise, and it's important that we teach our leaders how to recognize them. Jean Cunningham explains. More »
Lean Leadership at Legal Sea Foods: An Interview with Roger Berkowitz
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 19, 2017
Watch the video to hear Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz explain the effects lean has has on his own personal leadership style, plus the culture of Legal Sea Foods as a whole. More »
Lean and Agile: Finding a Role for Your Leadership in Your Transformation Model
By: Bruno Guicardi | January 10, 2017
"Lean and Agile are two of the most commonly discussed (and hotly debated) principles for managing a business, particularly when there’s a transformation underway," writes Bruno Guicardi. "While there are many similarities between the two, leaders need a clear understanding of how and when to put them into practice.  " Read more. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Keeping Senior Leadership Committed
By: Jean Cunningham, Ken Eakin and Chris Vogel | July 13, 2016
The cost savings of lean are not always apparent in the short term. If your senior leadership was skeptical going into the transformation, this situation can easily make them lose confidence and pull the plug. What's the best way to keep them onboard and committed? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts. More »
Coaching: A Core Skill for Transformational Leadership
By: Lean Leaper | July 24, 2015
LEI's CEO and Chairman John Shook shares his keynote presentation from the sold-out 2015 Lean Coaching Summit earlier this week in Seattle. More »
Why Leadership Needs to Drive the Bus
By: John Maher | March 10, 2015
"Lean change can start from the bottom-up, I won’t say that it can’t, but the situation needs to flip quickly to leadership so that leadership drives the bus," writes John Maher. "Why? Because at some point early on in your lean journey, your methods will start to conflict with some long-standing processes and metrics.  " More »
Why Leadership and "Respect" Are Fundamentally Entwined
By: Michael Ballé | October 1, 2014
Hear the word "respect" and most of us can think of a time we've wanted our boss, team member, or employee to "be more respectful.  " But respect is about something else altogether, says Michael Ballé. For leaders, "it's about committing to an employee's success. Employees have a right to succeed WITH us, not a duty, and we need to define this success together.  " More »
Which Will Prevail: Batch Thinking or Worker Leadership?
By: Fred Stahl | February 5, 2014
For most of two centuries, batch and queue production was the golden key that opened the factory doors of mass production and led many nations to untold wealth. In his first piece for the Post, Fred Stahl tells us why we must discard batch thinking and understand "worker leadership" in order to innovate for the 21st century. More »
Managing to Reboot Leadership
By: Boaz Tamir | November 13, 2013
"Despite sweeping changes to the business environment and real threats to organizational sustainability, too many managers remain stuck in traditional management roles and systems," writes Boaz Tamir. Read why Tamir thinks this new, disrupted business reality calls for lean thinking. More »
Ask Art: How Do I Get Senior Leadership On Board with Lean?
By: Art Byrne | July 1, 2013
Lean transformations are rarely successful without the support and participation of senior leadership. Art Byrne, former CEO of Wiremold, shares his advice to lean practitioners who are having difficulty getting senior leaders engaged. More »
Making Lean Leaders -- Ariens Internship Program Develops Lean Management and Leadership Skills in Everyone
By: Taninecz, George; | December 16, 2008
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Besides making snow-blowers, mowers, and string trimmers, Ariens Co.  , of Brillion, WI, makes lean leaders. An internal lean internship program steeps factory and front-office associates in the principles of lean and leadership by connecting the concepts to actual work. Ariens attributes its ability to acquire companies, enter new markets, and remain competitive in tough times to the program, which has helped it grow without dramatic increases in staff. More »
Lean Leadership
By: Womack, Jim | April 4, 2006
Columns; eLetters
When I founded the Lean Enterprise Institute nine years ago this summer I wanted to make the core lean knowledge available in easy to understand forms. My hope was that everyone could make faster progress toward creating organizations that create more value with less waste.  Looking back, I think we have done pretty well, although we've realized in the spirit of hansei (self-reflection) that nothing is ever good enough. We've produced a highly successful series of workbooks and an equally successful series of workshops on lean methods at the operating level. We've even produced a lean novel and we've run More »
Lean Leadership
By: Womack, Jim | February 3, 2005
Columns; eLetters
On my gemba walks I often get comments and questions about leadership.    “We can’t seem to get anywhere because we don’t have any leadership.  ”  “Who should lead the lean transformation?”  “Is a ‘lean’ leader different from any other type of leader?” I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have been thinking about this issue for many years so I thought I would share what I’ve learned.  First, I say to anyone who asks about leadership:  “It begins with you.    And it makes no difference who you are or where you are in your organization.    More »
Lean Leadership: Through the Transformation and Beyond
The purpose of this interactive one-day program is to facilitate a discussion with senior leaders about the challenges and obstacles they face implementing change relative to the lean transformation. The program will further address the roles, responsibilities and competencies of senior leaders that support the implementation of lean. More »
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