#10 – 6 Leadership Tips from the Toast Guy

2011 was a fun year for blogging. I learned a lot through professional and personal experiences in addition to blogging here and reading some great Lean Thinkers’ blogs. The Lean Leadership blog started 2011 with a review of the most popular blogs of 2010 which seemed to be an interesting way to start the year.  I am planning to take the next couple weeks to recap the top ten from last year.  I hope that 2011 was a great year for you and wish you the best in 2012. Here is #10:

Bruce Hamilton is President of the Greater Boston Manufacturing Project and a seasoned Lean Practitioner.  He may be best known as the Toast Guy because of his popular training video Toast Kaizen.  I recently came across a great article Bruce wrote for Lean Leaders.  The six keys follow just to wet your whistle:

  1. Understand what is meant by improvement – waste often hides in plain sight.  Inventory, overproduction, defects, waiting, transportation, motion and under/over processing are all forms of waste.  Reducing any of these wastes improves time to market, cost, and operational availability.
  2. Demonstrate passionate commitment – your team will notice if you are not committed 100%.
  3. Learn the tools – articulate why tools are needed and use the tools.  Bruce says, “If you want to learn to ride a bike, you have to get on a bike and ride.”
  4. Make the job easier, better, faster, then cheaper – implementing improvements in this order shows respect for the employee, one of the pillars of true Lean Manufacturing.  It also gains buy-in which is critical to a sustainable continuous improvement process.
  5. Start small and expand from a solid core – most of the tools themselves are not that difficult to use.  The challenge is to use them in a way that results in the sustained improvements you desire.
  6. Banish the eighth waste – the waste of human creativity.  This is a challenge if you do not demonstrate respect for your team in a way that they recognize.  Think about the number of ideas that have come from your operators and have been implemented.  Are you tapping into your team?

I urge you and other lean thinkers to read the article, which you can find here.  As a Lean Leader, you need to hit the production floor with a fresh set of eyes to observe and identify new Kaizen opportunities.  What can you do today to drive waste out of your process?

Best regards,
Christian Paulsen
The Lean Leadership Blog
Written for www.ConsumerGoodsClub.com

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.  Your feedback is appreciated.  Please check out my Facebook page and continue the discussion there too.

About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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2 Responses to #10 – 6 Leadership Tips from the Toast Guy

  1. Melisa says:

    I agree, leaders should know how to communicate with its team to deliver his/her passion to achieve for the success of the company.

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