CEO Attention

Over the years, I’ve had the honor of speaking to groups about building lean cultures.

But more importantly, I’ve spent time in the audience as a student listening to lean leaders.

With most speaking engagements there is a question and answer (Q&A) session at the end. Usually we have a short list of questions that are frequently asked. One such question is:

"How do we get the commitment of the CEO for our lean initiative?"

This question highlights many of the challenges that organizations face while building lean cultures. For example, this question suggests the CEO and leadership are not aligned, leaving the “lean folks” to compete with the “other folks” for executive attention and resources.

In addition, it highlights a fundamental paradigm that often exists. This paradigm is that "lean is a strategy that an organization implements, to be included with the long list of all other strategies."

What if we looked at it differently? What if lean is not a strategy, but rather the "delivery system to implement the organizational strategies?" That is, lean is not something we “do,” it is the “how” we will achieve our “do."

So now, the conversation with the CEO becomes about "our strategy to implement our strategy."

Posted by Robert Martichenko

Robert is CEO of LeanCor Supply Chain Group. He is also a speaker and award-winning author of several business books - including "Discovering Hidden Profit" and his first novel - "Drift and Hum." Robert has spent over 25 years learning and implementing lean and operational excellence with a focus on end-to-end supply chain management across a wide array of industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and an MBA.

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There is no question that building an organizational culture of continuous improvement is a progressive evolution that takes time. In this blog, Robert Martichenko discusses his lessons learned while building these cultures in our new world of constant disruption - sharing key knowledge that will lead today’s business leaders down the path toward discovering hidden profit. 

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