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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lean Tips Edition #97 (Tip # 1456 - 1470)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #1456 - Choose Courage Over Fear.
To be successful, you have to have courage. And to become courageous, do courageous things. Much of being successful is about going beyond what you think you're capable of -- venturing into the unknown. Whether you fail or succeed, you will learn and grow. Growth, in and of itself, means attaining a level of success whether it came from success or failure.

Lean Tip #1457 - Be Willing to Take Risks.
There are no guarantees on any path to success in life or business. The unknown is always looming. Therefore, risk and education are often the mechanisms necessary for knowing more clearly if you're on the right path.

If you're afraid to risk, you will put limits on your success and stay where you're comfortable. You cannot get what you want if you don't risk rejection and go for what you desire.

Lean Tip #1458 - Show Appreciation for Your Employees.
Workers who feel appreciated will be more motivated and productive. Praise employees publicly during meetings. Give spot awards. Profile employees and their work in company publications. If an employee puts in extra work on a project, recognize this. If you fail to reward hard work, your employees will not work as hard.

Lean Tip #1459 - Create a Culture of Accountability.
If workers are given ownership of their work and know they will receive feedback, they will work more meticulously. Accountability also means giving workers a clear sense of the direction of the company and how their work contributes to driving the company in that direction. If they feel like their work matters, rather than just being cogs in a huge machine, they will work harder.

Lean Tip #1460 - Invest in Training Your Employees.
All your employees will benefit from training, as it both makes them more valuable employees and creates a sense of indebtedness to the business, which leads to harder work. Pay particular attention to supervisors and middle managers who are just stepping into leadership roles. They are the key to transmitting upper management's vision and organizing work in an efficient manner, so extra management training for these positions will go a long way towards improving company productivity.

Lean Tip #1461 - Empower Your People
As you develop strong relationships you’ll see frontline employees wanting to step up. This is your opportunity to empower them. Encouraging authority, accountability, and responsibility at all levels creates a high performance team. Your role as leader is not to micromanage every detail of your organization but to rely on hundreds or thousands of people, each working toward a common purpose to be willing to make important decisions, exercise discretion, and answer for those choices. Let your employees know you trust them implicitly. They’ll earn it.

Lean Tip #1462 – Be Authentic, Share Yourself
One of the places most leaders fall down on the job is being inauthentic. They’re afraid to be vulnerable and known to others. Leadership has created a mental barrier that separates them from other people. Be honest about who you are, where you come from, and what you value. If you manage to practice all the previous strategies but don’t share your authentic self, you can’t build lasting relationships. Frontline leadership is about creating, reinforcing, and nurturing strong relationships.

Lean Tip #1463 – Expect Resistance to Change
Do not be surprised by resistance! Even if the solution a project presents is a wonderful improvement to a problem that has been plaguing employees, there will still be resistance to change. Comfort with the status quo is extraordinarily powerful. Fear of moving into an unknown future state creates anxiety and stress, even if the current state is painful. Project teams and change management teams should work to address resistance and mitigate it, but they should never be surprised by it.

Lean Tip #1464 – Seek Mentors.
Mentoring should be a necessity when it comes to planning out the improvement and development of future leaders. Mentoring is a popular idea for growth when it comes to leadership training. Make sure that your employees' mentor-mentee relationships don't just happen in a vacuum, however. One of the best benefits of mentoring is knowledge transfer, so give mentees and mentors structured ways to share what they've learned from these relationships. Successful employees have multiple mentors, so by building on that network effect, you allow leaders to branch and ultimately thrive.

Lean Tip #1465 - Lead With Passion, Not With Fear
Whether it be a good environment or a tumultuous one, leaders should never turn to invoking fear. In fact, in times of intense tension I believe that patience is even more important. Communication, clear objectives and performance feedback are critical in turbulent business environments but a fear-invoking boss can work to make bad situations worse. Lead your staff in an inspiring and passionate way – don't let their work be motivated by fear of your wrath. Remember intensity is different than fear. You can show passion but don't let it turn into intimidation.

Lean Tip #1466 - Have a Strong Lean Improvement Strategy
You'll need a solid plan and some attainable targets before implementing Lean. Utilize checklists and to-do lists, and you’ll always be working towards a goal. Look at every step in your process from the customer’s perspective: Is all that you’re doing something that he or she would be willing to pay for? If not, it is time to get back to the drawing board.

Lean Tip #1467 - Get the Whole Team on Board
To get the greatest advantages out of Lean, the entire organization should adopt and promote its practices, and extend its influence to suppliers as well. You must involve the people who are the closest to the work and you must get support from senior management as well.

In order to get people motivated, they must value the goals set for Lean manufacturing. These goals must be challenging, yet obtainable for your employees. Further, always ask for feedback on these goals, as well as progress toward target attainment. Feedback should always contain measureable facts and figures.

Lean Tip #1468 - Discard Conventional Fixed Ideas
Part of problem solving is thinking “outside of the box.” Encourage fresh perspectives and ingenuity in your team in order to develop innovative ways to forward Lean manufacturing without changing what is already efficient and successful. With such a rapidly evolving climate in manufacturing, sometimes conventional thought is what leads to the problem in the first place!

Lean Tip #1469 – Don’t Just Talk About it, Do it!
Once you have a Lean strategy in place, put it into fast and thorough action. Naturally, implementation is what ultimately yields results and improvement. The last think you want is to devise and formulate a Lean campaign that then sits on the shelf and collects dust. Run with your Lean plans as soon as you have everything nailed down.

Lean Tip #1470 - Concentrate on Bad Processes, Not People

By concentrating on the processes and building continuous improvement, you will have the culture change that you are looking for. Also, correct mistakes immediately. Don’t wait for the next shift, the weekend or maintenance to do it.

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