In this post, I would like to discuss another favorite, "LEARN by DOING".
As a lean consultant, I am probably leaving piles of money on the table because I don't spend much time at all teaching people how to build a lean strategy in a classroom or conference room with Power Point presentations. Don't get me wrong, I HAVE done it. In my own company. Imagine 50 or so people meeting in a conference room every week, learning about everything from lean tools, Toyota History, six sigma, etc. These classes ran for one hour every week for 3 years! The positive outcomes include a group of people that knew what was important to me. Nobody could ever say that becoming a lean company was not important to Bill Greider. The other positive is that people became pretty good learners and also the fact that people were together thinking quite a bit.
We spent six months or so getting ready for "game day"-actually making changes in processes, using the lean tools. When that happened, I realized something very important. When people do it, they get it. When there is a connection to them and to what they do, they get it. Did you ever hear the expression that 99% of the things we worry about never happen? Well, that applied to my first lean implementation. People would dig their feet in and argue about "what ifs" that never happened. They would find themselves having to vehemently defend positions they had taken. Remember that most of the concepts make no sense at all. For example, if you keep less, your customer will get what they want faster-huh?)
Once people started to consistently make improvements in their own processes all of this noise stopped. People who were on the fence bought in, some even becoming "lean beret". Because they saw it for themselves, with their own eyes. I didn't have to convince people by myself anymore.
You should only spend a small amount of time talking about the theory of aerodynamics, balance and "bike riding". Dive in!