Without a doubt, in
order for a company to reach the benefits of Lean Manufacturing it is
required for the top management team to understand the need for a new way of doing
the bigger the company, the more complex the rigmarole followed for the
director or president to visit the plant. An authentic entourage comprised
of people from the management and the mid management, superintendents or
even supervisors prepares the scenario for that tour to be the most pleasant
possible. An exhaustive cleaning is ordered in advance and in some cases
even new T-shirts or caps are given to the employees for them to look
There goes the
tour, an essential part of the protocol is about the area manager giving
some information to the group, with the selection of words that the
president wants to hear. Meanwhile, other people within the entourage take
care for unpleasant things to be hidden.
I am glad to see
that each day more and more companies are led by the new generation of
executives, those who visit the plant at the least expected time and
establish the real communication that we all benefit from. Today's executive
is friendly, uses a very simple language, knows many of his employees by
first name, chats with them, listens to their concerns about their jobs,
(even personal concerns), listens to them and responds effectively and
shares his own concerns with them.
When this happens,
many good ideas can be shared and in many cases the outcome is really
fruitful. Nevertheless, the morale is increased and all the people work more
It is convenient to
remember that in Lean Manufacturing we are creating a real partnership with
all the elements of our organization.
have to be established in this new concept. We will have some more about how
this partnership embraces our customers and suppliers as well in a future
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