We’ve just finished up a week of learning about the Lean Organization. This workshop focuses on people, leadership, learning, and systems. The class had twenty people from 13 different organizations representing everything from learning institutions to textile manufacturers to boat builders. Two were owners/CEOs of their companies.

We had a lot of great discussions. We spent time talking about the servant leadership and about developing a system to identify, encourage, and reinforce the set of behaviors we want in our leaders. This one theme kept returning as we discussed collaboration among working teams, between customers and suppliers, and between individuals.
This group progressed well through the three rounds of the StrikeFighter system simulation, eventually building 15 aircraft in just under 17 minutes (against a target of 14 minutes.) We wrapped up with a discussion of self-efficacy and psychological flow, wit a focus on practical steps to take to enhance both.
Now I’m ready to head back home to the US. There are always a lot of interesting developments down here, and we have a crew staying busy here. It’s nice to see the interest growing, but I worry about the quality of consulting beyond what we’re doing down here. It’s pretty easy to find consultants who can help with a 5S effort or with a couple of kaizen blitzes. But listening to the participants in the course, that’s about the extent of expertise once you get away from ILS and TexSkill our partner. More people need to understand how to focus on developing people and improving their skills, instead of just applying lean tools almost at random.