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Making Supervisors Lean Champions

June 02, 2008

Lean Manufacturing has become the 21st Century's call to arms for American industry. It is universally recognized that if American corporations are going to be capable of competing in the global marketplace they are going to have to meet the twin goals of lowering costs while significantly improving quality. To engage in the workplace transformations that will be required if these goals are to be met, many corporations are at various stages in the implementation of Lean Manufacturing. Unhappily, many of these attempts to implement Lean end in failure. As Industry Week pointed out in a recently completed survey, only 37% of those companies who implement Lean succeed in achieving world class manufacturing status. 

What has happened in the 63% of corporations that have not succeeded in fully implementing Lean? What's missing in their attempts to implement Lean?  What's often missing is a recognition of the fact that Lean processes are driven by Lean beliefs and, further, that Lean processes will only be implemented successfully by line workers, if these line workers are supervised by individuals whose behaviors are consistent with Lean beliefs.  In other words, the linchpin of a successful Lean implementation effort is having a cadre of first line supervisors who accept Lean beliefs and whose behaviors are consistently driven by these beliefs. 

This program will provide an overview of the various beliefs upon which Lean manufacturing is based. Moving from beliefs to performance, it will also describe the types of supervisory performance required to drive a Lean transformation, in regard to:

  • Coaching line workers
  • Leading teams
  • Communicating and listening
  • Facilitating group decision-making
  • Leading change

The program will be held on Thursday, June 12th, in the Emerson Center of the St. Louis Community College's Florissant Valley Campus at 3400 Pershall Road; St. Louis, MO 63135. To register, visit www.cbil.org/registration.htm.