- Published: Friday, 30 October 2015 12:00
Converting to Lean is a journey. Step by step we have made significant headway, specifically from a human standpoint. Part of that headway can be accredited to my experience with the Shingo Institute, starting with the Shingo tour I attended in 2012. What is the Shingo Institute you ask? Good question, let me explain.
The Shingo Institute is located within the John M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University in the United States. It is named after Dr. Shigeo Shingo, who received his honorary Doctorate of Management from Utah State University in 1988. Dr. Shingo wrote 18 books over the course of his life, covering ideas of ensuring quality at the source, working with no inventory, flowing value to customers, and grasping the true situation at the work place by actually going there. He worked extensively with Toyota, which allowed him to understand and execute these ideas in the real world.
In 2012 I attended a Shingo study tour in Japan. This consisted of plant tours, workshops and networking. I felt very much the odd man out. Everything was new to me and all the other participants seemed much farther ahead in the game than me. This wasn’t a bad thing though. It allowed me to hang back and watch. I watched the people; their faces, their body language, and their emotions. I learned a lot from that.
When processes were defined to allow the people to perform their jobs without stress; smiles appeared on their faces. I saw this as the key to high performance and productivity. This is what directed me to focus on the human element of Lean and what has made the Ozgene Lean transformation so successful.
Three years on, and many subsequent visits to the Shingo Institute to reinforce and assist our human Lean journey, I am very honoured to have been asked to join the Shingo Executive Advisory Board. This request is humbling, because in many ways I still feel like a student among the esteemed Board members. I continue to be passionate about the human aspect of Lean and I would encourage each of you to stick with your passion and see where it takes you!
- Frank, CEO -