The Work of Management
A Daily Path to Sustainable Improvement
Author and CEO Jim Lancaster tells a practical and inspiring story on two levels. It’s a close-up, candid look at his personal transformation as a leader. It’s also a practical, in-depth, business case study of Lantech’s lean transformation, relapse, and comeback that American manufacturing – and other industries — can use to profitably transform themselves.
In his engaging story, Lancaster reveals:
Why Lantech, a stellar lean performer for a decade, struggled over time (like many other companies) to sustain gains and improve financial performance. Why 60 to 90 minutes of daily frontline management activities are a CEO’s most important minutes of the day for sustaining and growing their business. 8 steps executives can take to lead experiments to create a bullet-proof, real-time daily management system without expensive consultants. Why daily management requires a major shift in managers’ mindsets and behaviors from giving orders and judging individuals on performance to asking questions and enabling good work by people at lower levels so metrics are routinely met. How daily management and sustainable continuous improvement produces dramatic positive effects on the bottom line. What happens in daily huddles where team members review how well they are sustaining gains and staying on track. How to practice true lean leadership in which "bosses" truly act like coaches -- not solving problems for people but asking them what they can to do help. How Lantech ties together all facets of the company in an integrated way (from sales to production). Why it deeply invests in the lean training and practice of every single employee every day. CEO to CEO: “Screw up your courage”
Lancaster knows the changes needed for daily management require courage by CEOs. “I have always had a problem convincing CEOs of one simple thing,” Lancaster writes. “They need to take the time to go where value is actually created. They need to learn to see the work and to see how their management system utterly fails to support the daily work. My most important advice is to screw up your courage, put aside your daily distractions, and walk out into the work to see how value is created at the frontline.”