To successfully transform your organization into a high-performance enterprise, the one quality your organization will need more than any other is leadership. It is the key to implementing lean, environmentally sound, and safe business practices that help you achieve world-class competitiveness.
To lead by example, senior managers need to gain a broad understanding of the principles and purpose of world-class business strategies and an in-depth knowledge of the implementation methods that will drive change effectively. These strategies include, but are not limited to, policy deployment, lean enterprise, sustainability, and culture alignment. Using practical, performance-based methods, leaders must develop the insight to generate relevant business strategies and ideas and the skills and ability to apply new tools and techniques to execute them.
Responsibility of Leaders
Among many key responsibilities, a leaders should:
- Understand customer value and pursue efficiency and cost-effectiveness by eliminating waste in processes and working methods
- Define the normal situation through standardization and visual control
- Follow the PDCA Cycle to pursue targeted results and continuous improvement
- Align and coordinate efforts vertically and horizontally to address business goals
- Work as a mentor to rapidly develop performance through on-the-job training, sharing task knowledge and skills, as well as have expertise in company processes and procedures
In any organization, the leader’s role is to define and clarify the plan for improving performance and set goals and create action plans for achieving them.
Turning Leadership Theory into Practice
Because the transition to a lean world-class environment demands nothing less than a complete change of culture, the leader must develop exceptional people skills and have the will to learn to:
- Teach people to think differently and to think for the organization
- Encourage the development of skills and behaviors people need to create and sustain a world-class business enterprise
- Promote open communication and free flow of information to all team members to raise the commitment, morale, and enthusiasm of employees and other stakeholders
- Overcome resistance and address the issues that are the barriers to moving forward
- Motivate everyone to be involved in continuous improvement to resolve problems that impact customer value add continually
- Establish people-centric operations to assure the safety, well-being, and dignity of employees
If you fail to communicate with the leaders who run your Operations as to the reasons why and how improvements are to be made, your workforce will quickly revert back to previous habits and practices. Your efforts to produce the results necessary to become a world-class competitor will stall – and you could easily lose the edge you have worked so hard to gain.