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Podcast: Frontline Lean Leadership with Tim McMahon

I’m pleased to be posting an interview I did last month with Tim McMahon. He’s a Lean Manufacturing Leader at a fiber optics company, the Social Networking Lead for the Northeast region of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence, and has a Lean blog titled, A Lean Journey. He also Twitters at TimALeanJourney.

In this 21 minute podcast, you’ll hear our views on Lean leadership at the supervisor level. Because Lean requires a great deal of autonomy from frontline employees, it also requires frontline Lean leadership with a unique skill set. Supervisors in a Lean company have to be able to do it all.

They must be coaches, mentors, trainers, and still deliver results. It’s a fine line to walk. Too directive, and they stifle creativity. To ‘hands off’ and their teams don’t get better. We dive into the details about what we think Lean supervisors need to do to be successful when their company is focused on continuous improvement.

Download this audio program in the MP3 format

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And after you listen to it, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below. Thanks for listening.


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  • Brian Jardim says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Tim’s comments. His emphasis on Lean being a thinking process and management system is bang on. Too many people emphasize only the toolbox. I also learned something during Tim and Jeff’s discussion on Leaders’ Standard Work. First time I had heard about it. Brilliant stuff!

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