Dynamic Stability – True North in the Lean House

Dynamic Stability

The foundation of the lean house connects to bedrock – the ultimate source of dynamic stability.  To me, this is True North. Other versions of the lean house emphasize “Stability,” but for a learning organization preparing for an uncertain future, stability alone isn’t enough.  Stability implies static, stationary systems which will break when the market or demand changes.  Since the market changes quickly, our systems have to allow for rapid change.  We need to create a framework that is both stable, allowing us to become proficient in the key functions we perform, and dynamic, allowing us to change immediately without extra cost.

This is an image of a silva orienteering compass, whose red North-seeking-arrow provides dynamic stability for the athlete, always pointing to North no matter the direction the athlete is moving.
Orienteering Compass

Dynamic stability begins with leadership and the mindset of leaders. Leaders must think for the long term. Leaders create a vision and build a compelling story around that vision connecting the past through the present to the future. This should be the challenge that will attract talent to seek to join us (think Elon Musk and his mission to Mars).

Building a Leader’s Mindset

Tell everyone what kind of leaders you want in your organization. What are the values you expect leaders to exemplify? How will you measure those? And how will you correct errant behavior by your leaders?

Vision and values set the direction and lay the foundation, but actions reflect the commitment to the path you’ve chosen. Commitment is focused and complete. Leaders must measure up daily and serve as the example for everyone else in the workplace. Don’t just make a contribution;  Make a commitment to the success of the venture.

Discipline. We all have a picture in our minds when we hear this word, but it is discipline that turns the successful company into the resilient, regenerative, exceptional company of the future. Discipline forces us to LEARN. With a focus on learning, we teach people how to ask the right questions; how to structure the right experiment; and how to gather key lessons in reflective, post-experiment learning sessions. Without practice here, we never get better.

Set your vision. Declare your truest values. Commit to achieving your vision, and build a learning organization through disciplined study and practice. Your world will never be the same.  For more, grab a copy of my book, Leadersights – Creating great leaders who create great workplaces, and subscribe.  Thank you!

Save

Lean House – Thinking through the elements

Little Lean Houses, for you and me

Not long ago, while I was preparing a new presentation, I searched for “Lean House” in google images.  There are many different interpretations of the original Toyota House and I wanted a couple for some comparisons.  Sadly, I was struck by the diversity of interpretations of the house and the limits of understanding they seem to reflect with respect to an integrated lean system.

Back in 2004, after much digging and observing people at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK), I created my own version of a lean house.  It has only slightly changed since the first time I presented the house in an article published in the Defense Acquisition Review Quarterly way back then.  If you’d like, you can get a free copy of that article here.

The Missing Block

One block in my lean house is distinctly different from all the others I’ve seen.  That surprises me a little because I built my lean house carefully from published Toyota Production System (TPS) practices and my own observations of behavior at TMMK.  Although this block is missing from other lean houses, people still like to talk about it, sort of.  Most people now refer to some mystical “people” or “culture” side of lean.  Yet they still don’t build it into the structure of their operating philosophy, which is what the lean house should really represent.

Lean House. In a field representing "Respect for People" lies a house structure featuring a foundation of "Dynamic Stability", a floor of "Satisfaction", two pillars - Just in time and Jidoka supporting a rooftop of "Customer Satisfaction"
My Lean House

The different block in my Lean House is “Satisfaction.”  Other versions of the house have blocks representing stability, JIT, Jidoka, and some kind of roof, but none mentions satisfaction.  Satisfaction refers to employee satisfaction on the job, which correlates to satisfaction in life.  There are distinct contributors to satisfaction that leaders need to design into the work we have people do.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to go through this lean house as an integral system and include some very specific things leaders need to do to build a stronger and more sustainable lean house.  As with any good house, I’ll build it from the foundation up, first explaining “Dynamic Stability” in language and examples you can use for your own workplace.

I hope you’ll follow me and learn with me.

-DSV

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leadersights interview with Mark Graban

I had the pleasure of sitting down and discussing Leadersights with Mark Graban last month.  I’ve pasted the link to his podcast below.

Coming up soon, Katie Anderson will post our interview as well.  She’s going to do a book giveaway too so be sure to check her site (http://kbjanderson.com/)

Also, I did an interview today with Thomas Cox (https://tomonleadership.com/).  We had a great discussion about the convergence (finally) of lean and organization development.

Always more to learn.  I hope you check these out and share them with others.

http://www.leanblog.org/2017/01/podcast-273-david-veech-his-new-book-leadersights/

Leadersights Book Released!

I’m very excited to say that my book is at long last available at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and the publishers site CRC Press.  Thanks to all the friends who pre-purchased the book.  I hope you’ll let me know what you think and keep sharing with others.