Gunnar Ahlberg - Into software home

Leading Lean

Published 2012-08-30 - Stockholm

Leading lean to success

Money. It is the goal of any company. But that in it self is not a goal that can be anything else than measured. A goal has to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Say after me - S M A R T. The money goal is mearly measurable. How do you deconstruct goal. If you only achieve money when you implement Lean, you failed. Because the change will not last over time.

Leading the elephant

People. They are the central of any Lean initiative. How do you lead your people? You know that they are the elephant and you are their leader. And just as you can lead an elephant to green grass, it’s futile to whip or flog it to move. The elephant more or less goes where it want to go. So, to succeed with lean, don’t focus on waste reduction. Toyota started in 1920 and was successful early but a leader much later and only in the last decade became outstanding.


Waste. It’s a demotivator. For your elephant or people to really listen to you, bring out the green grass. Show that a feeling, thinking and moving organisation is much more agile than any process oriented organisation. To focus on waste reduction is common misunderstanding. Muda (waste reduction), is only one of the pillars of lean. There are many others and to focus to much on just Muda will give you a slim organisation. But is it succesful? Probaby not. Example: TODO!

Your own waste

You, the leader, how do manage your own waste? Are you madly hammering away dictating emails to rise the fury in your group? Or, are did you start on realizing that the waste starts with you. Just as the responsibility is yours. So, what if you declined a couple of tomorrows meetings and spent the time in solitude to ponder on your own waste?