Lean management is simply the proactive manner in which a manager approaches his or her day in a Lean company.
Lean Management Entails:
- Making decisions based on facts and data
- Going to gemba. Or better yet, moving to gemba.
- Doing countermeasure to keep teams on track.
- Looking at processes first when there is a problem, not at people.
- Focusing on people. Developing them, and understanding what changes mean to them.
- Knowing the Lean tools forwards, backwards, and sideways.
This list could continue, but it should be clear that Lean management takes a different approach than many leaders are used to using. It makes sense. If teams are asked to operate in a fundamentally different manner, why shouldn’t the Lean management team?
Perhaps the hardest thing for many leaders to get used to in Lean management, though, is relinquishing authority. Lean requires front line employees to be able to make decisions on their own to keep operations flowing. And they won’t do that if they are scared of making a mistake.
The best way to develop their confidence in making those decisions is to provide them with the tools necessary to make teams operate effectively under Lean management. And, of course, to use mistakes as learning opportunities, not as problems.
Look at our Lean training options to help you build the team you need to move to a Lean management style.