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The simple definition of a skill is the ability to do something well or having a particular expertise in an activity.

In typical organizations, the set of skills required by individuals tends to be fairly narrow for frontline employees and leaders. For the most part, they are asked to do their job and not much else.

When a continuous improvement culture develops, though, the requirements of every job become more demanding. Not only do employees need the skill to do their production work, but they are also expected to understand Lean concepts and how to apply them. Problem-solving skills become important to daily operations.

In addition, people must be able to effectively manage projects, and this skill is not limited just to leaders. Assigning improvement activity to individuals is a great way to test their potential. Leadership skills also come in quite handy in these situations.

The bottom line is that the skills required to succeed in a Lean organization encompass a much wider range than they would in a typical company.

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