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However, as we all know, it’s people who do work, not maps or set-up calculations. In a Lean organization, it’s people who do work that create standardized work, not managers or engineers. In his book, The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker explains, “it’s people who bring system to life: working, communicating, resolving issues, and growing together.”
Toyota, on its website, states that “Improvements and suggestions by team members are cornerstone of Toyota’s success.” Managers act as coaches and develop their people. Once again, let’s not forget, it’s people who do work. Continuous improvement is part of work.
It’s easy to see (but somehow difficult for some of us to embrace) that any organization can effectively follow Toyota’s lead. Managers only need to coach and develop their people. Communication is key. Interpersonal skills training, “soft” stuff is actually more important than “hard” stuff.
Copyright © 2005 Chuck Yorke - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Yorke is an organizational development and performance improvement specialist, trainer, consultant and speaker. He is co-author of All You Gotta Do Is Ask, a book that explains how to promote large numbers of ideas from employees. Chuck may be reached at ChuckYorke@yahoo.com