Tag Archives: lean management

A good decision process

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A fundamental component for fluid operations is an organization’s ability to solve problems and make decisions. Any change or transformation cannot move faster than it’s ability to make decisions and communicate these. This is key if we realize that living with changes is the future status quo of operations.

Many years ago when I was still at University I got to meat a leader at production facility at Volvo, he asked us,

“How long time does it take from when the management team has made a decision and a worker on the shop floor grasps what this means?”

“Three years”.

Without a doubt, this is way to slow for product development and software. But it puts a finger on the starting point for a normal, traditional company, before any lean or agile transformation begins. So, in order to succeed with a transformation that will challenge existing (often plan based structures) we need a better decision & communication process.

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Catch 22 – The egoless, present and curious leader

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Every successful implementation of Lean or Agile I have seen has an ingredient that is almost a contradiction.

A leader who

  • has low ego (not interested in putting himself first)
  • is present (he/she has active conversations with teams and other leaders such, as change never comes as a complete surprise)
  • is active (he takes part in building up teams, do not defer hard decisions, he notifies and challenges, using questions, when people behave differently from the values agreed)
  • curious (what is the next step, what should we try, let’s do it)

This is a contradiction in terms. But every great leader I have observed have had as their final goal to eventually remove themselves. A scary thought? In fact not so. All these leaders had plenitude of options to choose from for their next position.  And improvement is never done. There is always a next step.

/mts