Lean Leadership

Last week, I joined three other members of the Horst Engineering general management team at a four-day intensive lean leadership training workshop. The seminar was produced by Leanovations International, a lean enterprise consulting firm. Lean enterprise, or lean manufacturing, is a business process improvement methodology. Lean enterprise is a growth strategy. When properly executed, it helps organizations build capacity by eliminating waste. It is very much focused on customer value, and respect for employees is at the core of lean.

The history of lean goes back to the 1950’s when W. Edwards Deming helped Japanese manufacturing grow and prosper with his methods. Lean is closely identified with the Toyota Production System, which is built on a lean framework.

Horst Engineering and Thread Rolling Inc. are accelerating their lean journey in an effort to grow more profitably. We have used kaizen events, a key aspect of lean, for more than 15 years, but only with modest success. Now, we are poised to transform our culture so that lean isn’t just a project, but a way of life. Lean is a journey because it never stops. Continuous improvement is an everyday objective. Every company needs to increasingly become more efficient in a competitive marketplace.

I’ll write more about lean enterprise as we make our way on this journey. There are many life lessons that come from lean and the tools can be applied at home, in the non-profit world, and just about anywhere.

Wikipedia definition

Lean.org definition

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