The Lean Learning Center’s recent first annual Alumni Forum brought together lean leaders from diverse industry sectors, professional societies and academia to exchange ideas and information about lean manufacturing implementation. The three-day event consisted of a combination of activities highlighted by a presentation from Dennis Pawley,
Mr. Pawley addressed the topic of lean leadership and the necessity for organizational change at the executive level in order to affect and sustain lean transformation; that leaders must be teachers and role models – not just managers.
“If you cannot teach, you cannot lead,” said Pawley. He also spoke about the importance of teamwork and creating a lean as evidenced by successful lean enterprises.
During the Alumni Forum, attendees participated in The Candy Factory Simulation to provide hands-on reinforcement of the importance of lean rules and principles in daily activities. Attending companies also each presented their current successes and barriers in the culture shift to lean with discussion and evaluation provided by all attendees.
The recurring themes throughout the presentations were the importance of scheduling time to reflect upon the lean journey, the critical need for upper-level management to be involved in the process, and the development of key communication channels to keep everyone in the enterprise engaged in the lean program.
The gains to be made through lean manufacturing initiatives were clearly apparent. poultry processor Simmons Foods (
“We felt that bringing the leaders of lean together would provide an excellent forum for helping gather ideas to accelerate change back at their facilities,” said
Attendees represented a wide range of industries from video duplicator Technicolor to automotive suppliers to
Founded in 2001 to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful lean transformation, the