When I decided to do a post on who should be involved in Lean, I Googled the question. I was quite surprised that no content specific to this query came up. Maybe it’s because people just assume the answer is either “everyone,” or “you’ll know if it’s you.” However, I think it’s worth taking some time to think about the various roles of folks who can contribute to a successful Lean implementation.
We’ve had the chance to chat with people who have experienced wildly successful Lean transitions and those who’ve been involved in epic flops. The one thing that all of the effective implementations have in common is active and engaged executive leaders. Only top-level leaders can create the culture that is necessary for Lean to thrive. They set the example, provide the resources, and ultimately determine the direction of the company. Lean is successful when improvement and innovation are imperatives for leaders. The C-suite is also responsible for investing in Lean by providing technology, training, and recognition.