People often ask me for tips and tricks to get leaders ‘on board’ and ‘enthusiastic’ about ‘lean’. They want to know what specific ‘lean’ topics I talk to leaders about and how I talk about them. People are usually surprised when I answer that, in general, I don’t talk to leaders about ‘lean’ at all. I talk to them about what they’re passionate about: their business. I ask them about customer service problems and business needs that aren’t being met. As the leader explains these, I simply make suggestions about ‘lean’ practices and tools that could help: like a visual management system if they’re having problems seeing where defects are coming from. Once the leader tries the new ‘lean’ practice, and sees its benefit, they get right ‘on board’…no talking or convincing on my part required! So, if you want to get leaders on board with ‘lean’ stop talking to them about ‘lean’ and start talking to them about their business!

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