When it’s game time, they provide guidance and leadership as needed – but mostly, they rely on the skills, knowledge, and experience of their team to do what is necessary to achieve the team goal. Lean leaders encourage a dedication to the scientific method, a means by which organizations can practice continuous improvement, or Kaizen.
Jeff Liker, author of The Toyota Way, describes what organizations need to do to develop their leaders’ lean leadership capabilities. While outsiders might consider the core competence of Toyota to be eliminating waste through TPS, Toyota executives know that their most valuable practice is their dedication and skill in developing leaders.
A Lean management approach allows leaders to leave a legacy of which they can be proud: in careers spent learning, growing, and empowering people to do their best work, in companies that create products and service offerings that provide genuine value to their customers.