The “Lean Plan”

In yesterday’s book review of Switch I alluded to the idea that a “lean implementation plan” is not so much about when and where to deploy the tools as it is a plan to shift the default behavior (‘the “culture”) of the organization.

This doesn’t mean you don’t deploy the tools. Of course you do.

But you have to do more.

The tools deployment has to have a purpose that goes beyond just creating flow.

The purpose is to shape the environment, at a manageable pace, so people have the opportunity to develop and practice the new skills and behaviors that you need.

Since most of us use “kaizen events” in one form or another, let’s take a look at our core intention during that week.

Do you have explicit learning targets as the foundational purpose? Or are your objectives expressed strictly in technical terms?

As you prepare for the event, are you studying, not only the process, but how people interact with that process? Are you grasping the current situation of the culture as well as the process itself?

Are you defining a clear gap between the behaviors you need (the target) and the behaviors you observe?

Are you structuring your week to have daily learning objectives that people have demonstrated, as they try to put the improvements into place?

You can’t complain that “people aren’t supporting the changes” if you haven’t been clear about what “supporting the changes” looks like.

“If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.”

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