Kaizen Culture in Lean OrganizationsFor some people, "organizational culture" calls to mind images of companies such as Google, with elaborate perks intended to lure the best talent and keep it there.

For others, it's the idea of an organization such as Zappos, which wants every employee to meet and keep lifelong friends at work.

For many Lean managers, the first company that comes to mind is Toyota, known for a kaizen culture so strong that death from overwork has become a problem.

The layperson often assumes Lean organizations are low on culture, because many popular definitions of organizational culture involve spending which would be considered wasteful by Lean managers.

Not so! Culture building is, in truth, critical to the success of Lean organizations, as demonstrated by Toyota.

A "Culture of Excellence"

Every organization wants a "culture of excellence," to the point that this oft-repeated jargon has become almost laughable. (more…)

lean managementLean management works best when opportunities for continuous improvement bubble up from the bottom of an organization.

Every team member should be enthusiastic about evaluating his or her performance and comfortable speaking to a manager about enhancing product flow.

In order for this healthy organizational dynamic to thrive, senior management must listen to and empower team members at all levels.

As a lean manager, you may struggle to achieve cooperation from executives accustomed to a top-down organizational structure. Senior leadership may resist lean management altogether. (more…)

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