Lean, What’s in it for ME?

For those hearing about upcoming Lean projects, a common perception is "just another way to get me to work harder!"

Unfortunately, in some organizations, the focus of Lean is an updated version of Taylorism; a scientific approach that relied on managers directing their employees how to be more efficient instead of allowing employees to participate in Lean improvement efforts. Leaders may encourage Lean efforts but their actions focus on increasing the assembly line speed and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Lean is only successful when team members are valued and their capabilities are developed over time. Tools are not the answer. Tools are needed and easy to grasp, but structured systems, while more difficult, are required.

It has been and will continue to be done, by caring leaders willing to take the challenge. Does your organization have a capability/competency model that covers each position and includes Lean attributes? Does your Lean organization have a published, enterprise-wide socialized learning roadmap showing team members how to be successful? Are team members given time to build their capabilities? Are your managers and leaders coaching them? If not, what is your organization doing? Hard questions.

Back to the question at hand, Lean, what’s in it for me?

When team members have the time and skills to improve their work environment, that is when your organizations will be successful. No longer will employees have the constant pressure of putting out fires, dealing with work backlogs, being confused by regularly changing and unclear objectives, and monotonously fixing the same problems every day. Employee engagement soars, turnover declines, and profits increase.

Sounds like a better place to work doesn't it?

Good luck with your Lean journey!

Chris Vogel

Customer Driven Value System™ (CDV System)

Delivering Customer Value and removing waste from process, while empowering employees to drive innovation and promote continuous improvement.


Sharing Our Lean and continuous improvement insights through our experience and learning.