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Karin’s daily blog posts will help you to develop mental strength and a more constructive thought process.

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 In Manufacture Your Day

Lean Manufacturing Leadership Training

At the beginning of a new day it is always important to set your intention. Why not set your intention on becoming a better communicator?

In the manufacturing industry is such a tremendous need of shifting management’s perception when it comes to people and I would like to explain why.

Based on the job requirements, the manufacturing industry is often the natural work environment for analytical people and there are many of them.

People with analytical minds are often perfectionists, standard setters and independent problem solvers. They are pretty brilliant people but on the flip side they can be perceived as heartless, arrogant and intellectual snobs. The real challenge is that they are often not the best communicators. Their ideal work environment is an orderly operation, without people.

Let’s take a closer look at Lean Manufacturing.

The reason companies have a difficult time implementing lean is because it is mainly seen as waste management system that serves efficiency and cost reduction.

Waste in Lean is any activity that consumes resources but brings no value to the end customer.

The challenge is that I have met very few lean experts in manufacturing companies who have a truly good understanding of people, human emotions and change management.

I am by no means a lean expert but I am pretty good when it comes to people  and how to bring out the best in them. If you care about them and their well-being, they will go through fire for you.

In my mind, the biggest waste in our organizations is human potential.

How you communicate any kind of change is important. With words you can lift people or you can hurt them. You can appreciate or you can criticize. It truly is a choice and many are not aware that everything we do is based on cause and effect. In other words, the actions you take (cause) will create certain results (effect). If you don’t get the results you want to see, you have to possibly change what you do and how you do it.

The way you speak can “manufacture”

  • excitement of fear.
  • passion or frustration.
  • curiosity or confusion.

You get my point, right?

Lean is supposed to make life better for everyone involved:

  • customers
  • management
  • workforce
  • business owners
  • suppliers

If Lean Manufacturing becomes a “mean methodology” in people’s mind because the focus is solely on cutting cost and cutting jobs, people will definitely resist the implementation process.

In the Toyota Production System Lean is based on 2 pillars:

  1. Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
  2. Respect for People

It’s not that difficult, so don’t make it more difficult. Learn to see human beings in a different light. Putting people first is a valid business strategy.

Make sure to live and breathe Lean if you want it be more than the flavour of the month.

Food for Thought:

Ask your team members what they are supposed to do with the process: Follow it or improve it? This will demonstrate how far or close you are to a continuous improvement mindset.

Please read the following Lean Blog Post by Mark Graban:

Toyota, Respect for People (or “Humanity” and Lean

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