The 5 Behaviours of a LEAN Manager

You’re probably familiar with the main LEAN principles, which include waste elimination, pull production, and continuous improvement. LEAN is more than just an approach that forces executives, managers, and employees to change their ways and adapt their behaviour—above all, it’s a corporate philosophy with the goals of continuous improvement and operational excellence.

To achieve these goals, the Campus LEAN team suggests 5 behaviours to adopt in order to become a LEAN manager. Here are the practices to work on until they develop into natural management habits.

Behaviour 1. I understand my processes.

To understand your company or department’s processes and adapt them, the first step is to identify opportunities for improvement. How is this done? Understanding starts on the ground, where the value is created.

Too many of today’s managers still rely on reports to assess a team’s productivity. Proximity management is fundamental to LEAN culture. It’s important to be on the ground regularly to observe and understand the situation there.

Seeing a problem first-hand, asking questions, talking to your teams, and brainstorming together to find innovative solutions is the key to improving your processes and encouraging acceptance of changes.

Behaviour 2. I listen to my customers.

What if you took the initiative to learn customers’ expectations, understand what they see as value, and measure their satisfaction?

To determine whether your customers are satisfied and find solutions to meet their needs, it’s crucial to listen to them and ask for feedback.

You should be just as proactive when it comes to your employees and their needs. The happier an employee is at work, the more committed and motivated they will be to deliver products or services that meet customer expectations.

Behaviour 3. I manage the performance of my processes..

With clear, precise indicators that are measured frequently, you can assess your organization’s performance across the key aspects of your processes, such as employees, deadlines, costs, and the quality of products or services. By analyzing this important information periodically, you’ll be able to track your progress towards your objectives.

Furthermore, measuring indicators like deadlines and quality daily will help you give your team members positive reinforcement for acting and behaving in accordance with expectations.

Behaviour 4. I empower my team.

In a continuous improvement approach, staff commitment and mobilization are keys to success. As a LEAN manager, you need to develop your interpersonal skills and promote the four pillars of commitment: clarity, competence, recognition, and influence.

By setting up improvement routines that maximize your employees’ potential, you lay the foundation for empowerment, which should make it easier for you to delegate certain tasks and responsibilities.

Behaviour 5. I am a change leader.

LEAN managers facilitate change. To do so, you need to create the right conditions for innovation and employee involvement. That’s why it’s essential to master project management, develop an effective problem-solving approach, and manage your time efficiently.

You’re now familiar with the 5 behaviours needed to become a LEAN manager. For more in-depth information on the subject and the tools recommended to develop each behaviour, download our free guide, The 5 Behaviours of a LEAN Manager (French). 5 reflexes of the LEAN manager.

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