Lean requires changing systems, organizational structures, processes, acquiring new technologies/machines, and even altering layout of the workplace. And although all of these components are important, the most important area of focus for Lean leaders are the people.
Implementing Lean is a journey and has a huge impact on employees because Lean changes the way that everyone operates. Since Lean impacts a business as a whole, it is critical that the vision and strategy has complete buy in and participation of top leadership. This is something that cannot be delegated and the direct involvement and participation of leadership teams is a must.
Never Delegate Leadership
Leadership is looking into the future, seeing what’s coming, telling your team about it, making sure everyone is going in the right direction, and keeping ALIGNMENT in your business.
Management is making sure that everything gets done when and how it’s supposed to get done, that projects are being reported on and updated regularly, and that
everyone knows what’s going on.
Once you start delegating the management of projects and tasks, it’s very easy to get lazy and want to delegate everything.
Leadership isn’t something that takes a lot of time, but it’s something that, if you don’t do it yourself, will cause a loss of confidence in you, and a loss of focus in your business.
Remember, delegate management, but don’t delegate leadership.
Never Delegate “Culture”
The “culture” of your business is the combination of values, attitude, and “vibe” of your team.
It’s important that you always stay involved, and keep making sure that everyone knows that you care, that you’re committed to delivering high-quality products and services, and that you stand for integrity.
Never Delegate Development
When these people come to work with you, you’re going to need to both train them and develop them.
Training is teaching them what they need to learn in order to work the systems in your business.
Development is what they need to evolve themselves on a personal and professional level, so that they can do the next level job later on.
It doesn’t matter who trains them (as long as the training is good, of course).
But your employees want development feedback from leaders personally. They want to know what you think of their work, their style, their strengths, their weaknesses, and everything else.
Leaders play a critical role in changing the thinking of the members of the organization so Lean can take root and grow. The ultimate responsibility for Lean cannot be passed on or delegated; it must be held, discussed, and practiced by top management, whose responsibility is to foster an operational philosophy and culture that embraces Lean in all aspects of the business. By delegating these activities you are sending the message that you have much more important things to work on and this is just something on the side.
Company leaders must understand that transformation cannot be delegated away. Their vision must become the organization’s vision, and the entire workforce must own and value the change together.