This past October, LEI’s John Shook delivered a keynote at the 17th Annual Lean Construction Institute Congress. Titled “Construction as Lean Enterprise,” Shook’s keynote addressed the nature of lean, its development over the years, and the Lean Transformation Framework, among other topics.
Watch a full video of the talk below, read on for excerpts, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
On the essentials for lean success:
“Lean is a social and technical system. And often you see organizations heavy-weighted on the people side, heavy-weighted on the process side, but…my conclusion of doing this 30 years is that the key to success lies in how we get those in balance. That becomes an important role for us as leaders – and we can only do that – achieve that balance – if we have a strong sense of purpose.”
“Becoming lean means aligning purpose, people and process. Those become the building blocks for continuous innovation.”
“So as I’ve looked at failed transformations over the years, and I’ve seen a lot of them, what [leaders] often do is copy…someone else’s solutions and in a way betrays a solutions mindset. As leaders…we’ve always been expected to be the answer man. What’s built into [a lean transformation] is a questions mindset, which is a radically different thing.”
“The way we think of a problem in the lean world is that a problem is simply a gap between where we are and where we’d like to be. Sometimes we don’t know where we want to be – in those cases, we start more with where we are. Other times, we know exactly where we want to be, but where we are is a mess – let’s start [with the former].”
“It’s the question that’s the issue, not the answer.”
On the role of people in problem-solving:
“Everyone in a company should be everybody’s top expert in something. Even the “lowly” receptionist or the janitor. They know more about something than anything else. They’re solving a problem for us every day, by their very job and also moment-to-moment by the things that come to them.”
On the role of leaders in a lean enterprise:
“Thinking of our role as leaders…we have these two responsibilities: We have to get the work done and…at the same time we have to develop people.”
On the nature of lean tools:
“Lean tools are frameworks to develop people and make it easy to see problems, to make it easy to improve, and to make it easy to learn from. Every single one of the famous lean tools is deceptively simple.”
John Shook will deliver the opening keynote at the 2016 Lean Transformation Summit in Las Vegas next month. To learn more about the Summit and John’s keynote, visit the Summit webpage.