John Shook, Chairman and CEO of Lean Enterprise Institute, explains LEI’s Lean Transformation Model. Mr Shooks take the Lean (Toyota inspired) house as a base for the explanation. This house or temple has many variants and is variously (mis)understood. While drawing the house on a whiteboard, John Shooks gives explanation in a very simple and straightforward manner.
While explaining the Toyota Production System house is often misunderstood as a prescriptive model, he suggests that regardless of the construction itself, each system that is described as a house needs the same components: solid foundations and pillars to support the roof.
Paradoxically, the construction should start with the roof, because on the gable the purpose statement or true north will be carved in. Like ancient temple tympanum telling a story to visitors, the statement give sense to the whole, it explains why the house, what for, or like the ToC thinkers would state it; what to change to?
ToC stands for Theory of Constraints.
For the roof to be seen and the house to be able to host people, the roof must be placed atop pillars.
The first pillar is process improvement, how to change current condition in order for the purpose to become true, how the change has to be conducted. The second pillar is capability development, meaning giving people the means and know-how to conduct the change. Both pillars are necessary for continuous improvement.
In the house, a character represents management and leadership behaviors.
The foundation is made of mindset, the basic beliefs and assumptions.
A successful transformation needs all five components: roof, two pillars, people, and foundation. Even at a moment the focus may be more on one particular components, all are needed to keep the transformation in balance.
Once the house drawn and explanation given, John Shook revisit it all asking five questions:
- What is the purpose of the change–what true north and value are we providing, or simply: what problem are we trying to solve?
- How are we improving the actual work?
- How are we building capability?
- What leadership behaviors and management systems are required to support this new way of working?
- What basic thinking, mindset, or assumptions comprise the existing culture, and are we driving this transformation?