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.
Various techniques are used to ensure a quality (no red bead) product. There are quality control inspectors, feedback to the workers, merit pay for superior performance, performance appraisals, procedure compliance, posters and quality programs. The foreman, quality control, and the workers all put forth their best efforts to produce a quality product. The experiment allows the demonstration of the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the various methods.
I was overwhelmed by the quality of what I got back. (The quantity was expected… interesting internships are hard to find). I heard from students on most continents, with a huge variety of backgrounds and life experiences. And these people were smart.
Unable to just pick a PDF or two, I invited the applicants to join a Facebook group I had set up. Then I let them meet each other and hang out online. It was absolutely fascinating. Within a day, the group had divided into four camps:
* The leaders. A few started conversations, directed initiatives and got to work.
If you’re hiring for people to work online, I can’t imagine not screening people in this way. This is the work, and you can watch people do it for real before you hire them.
Twenty-seven faulty management and corporate governance practices create most of the problems in any organization. These practices will be identified, and better practices recommended. It will be shown that as better practices are introduced, quality of products and services increases, costs decline, and you create a globally competitive advantage for your organization.
Learn how governance practice leads to the heaviest losses, how inconsistencies between policy and strategy create sub-optimal outcomes, how mismanagement of people leads to unethical and ineffective behavior, and how to overcome these problems. Study the theory and practice of management. Not quality management, not good management, not excellent management, not knowledge management, not risk management, not process management, not performance management, not supply or asset management, not technology management, not time management, not emergency management, just plain management.
The W. Edwards Deming Institute is sponsoring a 4 day seminar using videos of Dr. Deming’s seminars and facilitated by Ed Baker, Dave Nave, and Joyce Orsini: Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position. Ed Baker was the person at Ford responsible for helping Ford apply Dr. Deming’s ideas.
Hear and watch Dr. W. Edwards Deming identify faulty management practices. He will describe how, as better practices are introduced, quality of products and services increases, costs decline, and you create a globally competitive advantage for your organization.
Built on archive videos of Dr. Deming, this seminar blends footage of Dr. Deming presenting his theories with live facilitation by Ed Baker, Dave Nave, and Joyce Orsini to create an interactive learning environment. Facilitated discussion following each film segment will provide opportunity to deepen your understanding of the concepts, and interpret what these ideas might mean for your organization.
Practically everyone thinks that someone who went to MIT or Harvard or Stanford must be smart. Even people who hate you for it believe it. But when you think about what it means to have gone to an elite college, how could this be true? We’re talking about a decision made by admissions officers—basically, HR people—based on a cursory examination of a huge pile of depressingly similar applications submitted by seventeen year olds.
No one ever measures recruiters by the later performance of people they turn down.
There’s a lot of randomness in how colleges select people, and what they learn there depends much more on them than the college. Between these two sources of variation, the college someone went to doesn’t mean a lot. It is to some degree a predictor of ability, but so weak that we regard it mainly as a source of error and try consciously to ignore it.
We have begun to shift away from a tool driven approach to one more centered on improving our management systems. This makes the work far more difficult, yet far more rewarding.
Great post. Great goal; and quite a challenge. My personal belief is while you are trying to make this change (which takes years) to become an organization that acts as a system you must balance education (an investment – one of the best forms of investment often) and improvements gains today (both are needed). And just applying tools effectively can often provide nice gains today (with the right guidance and proper restraint).
Often the two go hand in hand – there is little more educational than actually participating in using quality/lean/improvement tools and concepts to solve your own problems. That is the best way for managers to learn about lean thinking. But I think when you see this dual role of current improvement efforts it changes your measure of success – not just measuring improvement for today (or improvements in the value stream that will pay dividends for years) but also valuing the new knowledge gained by the participants. I have never been able to quantify the benefit of the education but that doesn’t bother me.
We studied what business practitioners think graduates need to know about Lean. Our results showed that practitioners are not concerned about specific technical skills. Instead, they want graduates to possess a systems view of organizations and value streams. Implications for Lean education and a broader systems approach to professional education in general, are considered.