What if the problem is you? For organizations just preparing to begin a continuous-improvement (CI) journey, the behaviors of the leadership must transform dramatically for the Lean toolkit to succeed. Many organizations invest in training colleagues about the power of the tools but fail to address the behavior and mindset of the leadership. Unfortunately, misaligned leadership behaviors will counteract any culture change that is attempted simply by pushing the use of Lean tools. This book outlines a comprehensive set of leadership principles that must be understood and modelled by the leadership before the CI Journey can effectively begin.

This book organizes these leadership principles into a framework of a conceptual model called the "Three Spaces of Lean Transformation." The model suggests that these spaces of Trust, Change, and Continuous Improvement must be consciously shaped, developed, and maintained by the organizational leadership if a continuous improvement culture change succeeds. This book organizes a set of leadership principles -- that supports the culture change -- into each of these three spaces.

The book is written in the first-person narrative and maintains a mentoring format. This book is for professionals at the very beginning of an intimidating Lean journey and with very little background or formal Lean training.

Although these leadership principles are framed in the approach of being necessary to support an innovation culture change, the principles are, in fact, those necessary to support effective employee engagement. In addition, this set of leadership principles, if modeled consistently by the leaders, will create an organizational culture that will attract and retain great employees.

These principles form the strong leadership foundation that must be established in organizations where, previously, many of the leadership behaviors were contrary to what is required by a "Lean" organization. The proper adoption of these leadership principles by an organization will support the long-term success of the Lean journey, and that this will enable a lasting, not a temporary, change to a continuous improvement culture.

part Part I|1 pages

Understanding the Spaces of Lean Transformation

chapter 1|2 pages


chapter 2|4 pages

The Three Spaces Model

chapter 3|3 pages

Defining Some Key Terms

chapter 4|19 pages

The Lean Management Team

part Part II|1 pages

Understanding the Space of Trust

chapter 5|2 pages

The Space of Trust Explained

chapter 14|3 pages

Trust Principle #9: Delegate Properly

chapter 22|3 pages

Trust Principle #17: Protect Your People

chapter 26|3 pages

Trust Principle #21: Listen Effectively

chapter 31|4 pages

Trust Principle #26: Be Congruent

chapter 32|3 pages

The Space of Trust—Concluding Thoughts

part Part III|1 pages

Understanding the Space for Change

chapter 33|2 pages

The Space for Change Explained

chapter 39|4 pages

Change Principle #6: Find Your Voice

chapter 58|2 pages

The Space for Change—Concluding Thoughts

part Part IV|1 pages

Understanding the Space for Continuous Improvement

chapter 71|7 pages

CI Principle #12: Solve the Right Problem

chapter 78|4 pages

CI Principle #19: Reflect and Improve

part Part V|1 pages

Understanding the New Way

chapter 80|2 pages

Putting the Spaces Together

chapter 81|4 pages

Striving for Congruence

chapter 82|2 pages

Show Them It’s Possible

chapter 83|3 pages

It Feels Different in Here