Lean Leadership, or the Lean leadership in Polish. This is the attitude of managers who supports the behavior of employees leading them to constantly improve their work. Methods, tools and attitudes are key factors that are included in Lean Leadership. Leader, foreman, manager working on the competences of his team, gains independent and ready-to-use employees.
More and more Polish companies are introducing management and organizational culture standards based on proven patterns. Lubelski, a manufacturer of TARRA washing and degreasing equipment, GT85 Polska has undergone the implementation process under the supervision of Mr. Mark Forkun.
We speak with Marek Forkun, Business Advisor and Implementation Practitioners of the Continuous Improvement Program according to the principles of Toyota Way & TPS and Zbigniew Kurant, Chairman of the Board GT85 Polska about the successful implementation of Lean Leadership in GT85 Polska.
What is the Lean Leadership Way?
MF: Many people think that lean management or lean leadership is an action that aims to improve processes. When it comes to our thinking, lean management or how I like to call it, the Leadership of Continuous Improvement, it concerns the management of the process of creating an idea that we are responsible for serving the employees on the production hall level. So we're talking about operators and team leaders because these are people who actually touch the raw material and the product that we ultimately intend to sell. Therefore, the responsibility for management consists in creating such an environment that the employees are able to identify processes and behaviors that absolutely do not provide any added value to the customer or to the product that we create.
What level of staff should be involved in the implementation and cultivation of Lean Leadership Way?
M.F: For me, if we look at the production management system at Toyota, so-called Toyota Production System, which is a highly developed and sophisticated way of managing people and we will add to that the values that we find in Toyota and the Principles as well as Competencies of leaders, in particular leaders of operators, team leaders, group leaders, then we can expect results, financial results , much more competitive than our competition. So, I tried to explain today that this is good for improving processes, but people need to improve these processes. It is the employees in the hall who need to identify these processes, but to do this, we must have the ability to self-reflect and this is called Hansei. We have Hansei with self-reflection, which leads to the idea of Kaizen, Continuous Improvement, to create Hansei, we have to consistently and permanently develop ourselves, work with team leaders and group leaders and with our management team, so that the team leaders who touch processes, touch raw materials, with operators, they actually created value for business.
What made you start implementing Lean Leadership practices at GT85 Polska?
ZK: The company's situation, spent enormous resources on new investments, the appearance of the company in the economic zone, contracts generating losses, and crew demands for new investments without the possibility of achieving visible work efficiency at the end of investment in the economic zone. We were looking for a solution, a method. None of them answered. During one of the conference on the ordinance, one of the consultants with whom I managed to talk, said that during a few meetings and discussions with the crew will present the main reasons for the lack of profitability on projects. And that's how it happened.
If so, what were the biggest challenges encountered at the beginning of the implementation?
ZK: Of course they were. The crew never had to deal with Lean culture, apart from individual units. the biggest problems resulted from the relations and mutual respect of employees, which had a negative impact on opening up in discussions and meetings. The second major challenge during implementation and during the implementation process is the problem of human communication. Also the lack of openness to change, communication and visualization of processes.
How do you assess the effects of implementing Lean Leadership? Was the decision on implementation accurate?
ZK: I can say firmly that it was a very good decision. First of all, communication between the crew has improved, at every level of our organization. In addition, people give respect to much more by opening to cooperation. We have visualized most of the processes, visualized in a traditional way, which means that the employees of individual departments of the company are involved in their creation.
These are not the indicators shown by the management from the top of the pyramid, and the things that to measure performance well during many discussions came from the operational level of my company. I am very proud of this because they are their indicators, not mine, not management. Tangible benefits - achieved profits and margins, we can see where we make mistakes. This is a huge added value when it comes to design / unit production of equipment. We are able to analyze our progress on an ongoing basis and bring it out to improve the deficiencies in new projects. We see what results and we successively correct our actions.
About the video:
After the success of the implementation, GT85 Polska is still planning to implement the necessary Lean culture tools. The film we present to you is dedicated to the employees of our company and thanks for over one and a half years of work of the whole team on developing our own Lean culture.
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