Beyond Workshops

A3 Thinking About Business Problems

Use A3 Thinking to solve the problem you are trying to solve prior to the implementation. As Modern Managers, it is common to work on solutions and implementations prior to the problem being clearly articulated and the root cause understood.

A3 Thinking helps structure our problem solving to clearly understand the problem, look at multiple countermeasures to improve the process being reviewed. The A3 Thinking process tells the story of the problem in a manner that anyone can understand and engages the hearts and minds of everyone in the organization.

Sustaining a lean transformation requires continuous problem solving by everyone in the company. Success hinges on how well we teach and apply a robust, shared problem-solving method at all levels. Leading a Lean Transformation by doing structured problem solving is critical as the leader of the organization begins to act in a different manner.

Value Stream Improvement Project

Value-stream improvement projects enable companies to identify the critical process areas needing change and begin the process of continuous improvement. However the impact of these projects generally depends most on preparation before mapping, problem solving to design the future state, project management during implementation, and continuing support and problem solving of the value stream after implementation.

Learn to lead in a Lean environment to create a Continuous Improvement culture

We embrace the three basic pillars of Toyota's Chairman Cho's management teaching:

  • Go see - data and reports are good, but the real story is found at the place where the work is done.
  • Ask Why - not who, but why. Asking good questions for clarification not blame.
  • Show respect - respect of the employess is paramount. Whatever point where the work is done, showing respect by going to the employees work environment, asking why for clarification are signs of respect.

In a Lean Culture, the Leader is not expected to know all the answer's to the orgranization's problems. The Leader should be able to ask good questions that cause the people they lead to think deeply about the problems and discover for themselves good countermeasures to improve the impact of the problems.

Click here to read the article “Respect For People” by Jim Womack, Founder and Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute

Traditional Leadership - Lean Leadership Comparison

Traditional Leadership:

Establish a plan/goal or objective. Manage to the plan, analyze variances to the plan and make course corrections to meet the plan.

Lean Leadership:

Establish a baseline of current status or condition. Lead through employee coaching an assessment of the current state and countermeasures to improve the current condition. When the new level of performance is attained, repeat the process seeking perfection.

Lean Leadership - Fundamentals

Lean is a System designed on structured learning. What we know about how people learn is that they learn best through:

  1. Experience - Learn by Doing
  2. Through making mistakes
  3. Through trial and error

How do we lead an organization to create an organization and culture of structured learning? A culture of continuous improvement through problem solving? We suggest it begins with YOU, the Leader by becoming intentional about the way you:

  • How you Think
  • How you Act
  • How you Interact

To have a Value Stream Solutions coach discuss Lean Leadership with you or your team, contact us today!