Consistency is Key for Lean Transformation

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]Those of you that are parents out there know how important it is to not send mixed signals to your children.  The same is true during a Lean transformation, especially early on in the process.  It seems I have most often seen mixed messages provided when it comes to the old world metrics that contradict with the new “lean rules.”  One must take special care to be consistent especially early on in a transformation when the team is just learning its new world.

An example would be setting up pull systems and installing rules to only produce when you have a signal from the downstream customer.  Your team is following the rules, demand drops for a few days, and then they get chastised for not meeting the old production unit goals.  What is your team to do now?  Follow the old rules or the new rules?

The same is true when it comes to “meeting the month” in recoveries.  You’ve made the commitment to only produce to true customer demand, then at the end of the month corporate pressure to “cover your overheads” leads you to direct extra stock to the warehouse!  Your month may look good to the HQ directors but what have you done to your credibility?  What will your team do now when faced with similar decisions?

Consistency of your actions and your voice is a must!  So  ensure you yourself are consistent and also be sure to spend extra time coaching the leadership to be consistent.  You cannot speak enough to them.  It only takes about 10 seconds and one mixed message to set you back months in your transformation!



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