Leadership Lessons from Lean-Valuing People in Teams
One of the most important discoveries that leaders made as they unfolded the Lean Revolution, from the 1940’s onward to today, was to understand how important and valuable their front-line workers are. In classic mass production, the worker became merely a cog in a machine. He or she performed only a few tasks, and perhaps only one. Those tasks were often defined through time and motion studies - capturing what was then thought to be the best of “scientific management.” They were delegated to workers by management who, in their wisdom, designed the task to be as simple as possible and as free from superfluous movement. The worker did not have to think - it was usually better if he didn’t. Wisdom about how to do work well came from above.