Learn Lean by Doing Lean

In response to: Developing Your Lean Education Plan [the broken link was removed]

If you actually let the lean leaders practice lean management you are probably doing more to help them learn than anything else. Reading is great, but 10 times better when reading to find solutions you need to deal with issues you have in place. Same for going to conferences. Consultants can be a huge help, but if you just bring in consultants without allowing the changes needed to improve they are not much use.

Far more damaging than not approving training, or giving the lean leaders any time to learn, is not giving them freedom to adopt lean practices and actually make improvements in your organization. That is what kills learning, and the desire to learn.

A great lean education plan: give them opportunities to apply what they know. As they gain knowledge and have success give them more opportunities. I think often lean leaders (and management improvement leaders) have to spend so much effort fighting the resistance in the organization they don’t have the energy to seek out much new knowledge. If you can reduce the effort they have to spend on fighting the bureaucracy most lean leaders will naturally focus on learning what they need for the current and future challenges.

Related: Building Organizational CapacityHelping Employees ImprovePeople are Our Most Important AssetRespect People by Understanding Psychology

6 thoughts on “Learn Lean by Doing Lean

  1. Good Response,

    I couldn’t agree more. It is a very liberating and powerful thing when people are allowed to do their job outside, or despite the political environment and internally accepted limitations. I often see “neutered” Lean experts who have tons to offer, but are restricted by self or others from really contributing at the levels they could. In my experience it’s not usually a lack of book knowledge, but rather a “culture of continuous stagnation” and negativity that holds people back as much as anything. Too much punishment for shaking things up. People can only take so much and they just give up.

    All the Best,


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