Right after we started with the Lean trainings and early stages of implementation, I was very glad to recognize between some of our employees strong signals of lean thinking. One of the hot topics at our plant is waste, but the waste management talk about is ingredients or materials wastage. After our trainings the employees start to talked about how to improve certain parts of the operation. They gave very good examples of waste as per the seven categories of waste by Taiichi Ohno that we discussed on our trainings. One think that we stressed a lot during our Introduction to Lean is the lean thinking, how important is to change our mind from the traditional thinking to the lean thinking. This part of the presentation is always an eyes opener. People amaze by this “new” point of view. That curiosity is also full of doubts: Is it for real? Would the bosses really going to leave their offices and come to the work area?
Lean is about respecting the people, in the name of that respect we can’t lie. The words of Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho, “Go see, ask why, show respect” are basic lean principles. If we say that we are going to do something, we have to do it. We have to go to Gemba and see! Once we are there and see, we need to ask with respect why. Questioning the right way is an art, people needs to feel comfortable, the focus is on the problem not the people.
We have to lead by example, the lean thinking is not just information is way of life, is a philosophy. Living that philosophy we put together the stones to build a culture that makes people want to take ownership of their workplace. When people shows that they care we as leaders needs to show them respect, listening their ideas and guide them through the PDCA cycle. We can not let them down, after all, lean is about respecting the people”