The interview, and the book, focus on the tendency of organizations practicing lean to see their results peter out. Because, while results with lean are easy to achieve, deterioration works to quietly undermine results.
Lancaster also discusses the role of a daily management system in halting that deterioration. This daily management system isn’t simply a daily staff meeting, rather it is, “about trying to combat deterioration through fast response support. A key trigger to send support is a metric moving off of standard. In our case, we track safety, quality, delivery, cost and skills every single day, and this tells us whether or not we are ready for the work ahead. If we identify a problem quickly (and measuring every day means we normally do), fixing it won’t be difficult, so long as the management reaction there on the spot is to go see. If this is not happening, then you know you don’t have a working daily management system. You can’t solve problems from a distance.”
It is vital that, as an executive or manager, you understand and what is happening at all levels of the organization so that, “nothing comes as a surprise when strategic planning takes place.”
The interview, as well as the book, also explore the personal growth Jim Lancaster underwent in his role as CEO of Lantech.
Want to Learn More?
You can read the full Planet Lean interview with Jim Lancaster here.
If you’d like to learn more about lean management, you can get your copy of Jim’s book here.
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