Kaizen and Lean Disciplines for Service Organizations and Institutions
Not For Manufacturing Only
After all the evident success of these disciplines and tools, many Companies with non-manufacturing activities are discovering the amazing result of implementing Kaizen for Effective Lean Management.
The subjects are being conveyed to their diverse administrative and operational activities with one common fundament:
It would seem simple but is not. Human Nature is sometimes against the humble approach that represents the essentials of a true Leadership Behavior. Those people who believe that Power comes from arrogance and authority will be against several items like:
Listening to our people
Trusting our people and expecting the best from them
Leading by Example and Respect instead of Authority and Fear
Turning from Bosses into Leaders
Listening to the Customer at all times
Trying to Learn from the people on the floor
And some more…
Kaizen for Effective Lean Management
Kaizen for Effective Lean Management is about common sense, but as we have discussed here, it is the least common of senses and it takes deliberate effort to change our ways to comply in the new ways.
Just recently I was in for a very enjoyable opportunity with a services company that is the number one in their line of business. They have grown 33% in the last year and the future is smiling at them. They are now a multi-billion dollar company and have 5,500+ associates worldwide.
Still, they are aware of the need to remain competitive and will do whatever it takes to do so. We started with a basic training on the Kaizen Culture for Effective Lean Management and the most impressive was to see the President of the company join the team, he participated in exercises and discussions without any intention to put his role as a justification to silence anyone. They all felt very comfortable because this man has created that appropriate environment around him. Any Conflicts? Sure there are some, but solutions are much easier where there is Leadership.
What is the Benefit?
The main help we will get from Kaizen for Effective Lean Management is to have the confidence to bring things up anytime and know that you will be listened to and supported. We need to make sure that all our associates and team members feel that comfortable all the time. We are working with several companies in the Urgent Leadership Transformation required for a successful Lean Implementation. The “managers of the past” as I call those who try to preserve their power by selling fear and threats, have many communication problems, that is the reason why their teams perform poorly. All your associates should feel completely free to communicate their successes and their mistakes too. Countless times I have seen associates hide imperfect reports or documents to avoid being punished or reprimanded.
The Old "Departmental" Structure
Another type of communication that is frequently poor and disastrous is that between the different Areas of Responsibility. This affects the purpose of one piece flow and creates delays in the Lead Times, making materials, documents, information, and semi processes arrive late or never to the following transaction, crippling the system.
Kaizen for Effective Lean Management is a powerful process that can be applied in all kinds of activities. Services providers are a very appropriate environment. Interpreting the basic tools to their different operations will be an important first step. Customer Service, Marketing, Training, and Financial activities can be deeply improved when we all can understand the main purpose of the business. The main purpose of any business is FLOW. “Moving” the service or product from the first contact towards the final delivery to the customer, sometimes an internal customer, in the most efficient, courteous, and effective way is a key element of competition.
What do Customers Really Want?
Remember that… Customers are out there searching for Value: The equilibrium between Quality, Price, and Service. If these three correspond to each other, we have great Value.
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