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By Drive, Inc. on Wednesday 15 June 2011.

As companies begin their Lean journey, they learn early in the process from books, training or consultants that a key component of “Lean” is to build an engaged workforce. We hear about how many improvement ideas are generated by team members at Toyota and the savings that result and we want that kind of “engagement” in our plants. Many countermeasures are tried: Quality Circles, Kaizen Events (which, by the way, is an oxymoron...more on that in a future newsletter), Suggestion Boxes, Self-Directed Work Teams, Surveys (to assess the level of operator engagement) and others, all making the attempt to “engage” the workforce. Typically, the results fall pitifully short of expectations.

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