Seven Principles of Lean Leadership

Based on over 100 tours of Lean facilities, I created these 7 Principles of Lean Leadership to summarize my observations. The 7 Principles are a useful guide that can get a Lean culture started or reinforce an existing one.

Here they are:

  1. Focus on customers. Ensure everyone knows who their customer is and how their work impacts internal and external customers. Make external customers real to all your team members through communications and having customers speak to your teams.
  2. Seek Continuous Improvement. Most key responsibilities will include driving measurable improvements that can be sustained over time.
  3. Encourage broad participation. Involve a broad range of people regularly and whenever feasible to ensure buy-in so that results reflect a group effort.
  4. Manage work through processes. Approach work streams with a process orientation to ensure success is repeatable and sustainable.
  5. Solve problems using facts and teamwork. Lean cultures support learning by utilizing teams of people to address issues using facts and root-cause analysis.
  6. Use visual management to strengthen results. Seek opportunities to use visual cues to highlight progress against goals, improve performance through visual standards, etc.
  7. Lead by inspiration. Motivate others by supporting the natural expression of their talents.

Regardless of where you are on your Lean journey, these principles can help you to create and maintain a Lean culture in your organization.

Contact Lean Leadership Center to learn more about how our resources can help your company improve your organization’s leadership and overall success at 708.362.1664.