Industry Week’s current issue is featuring a story about the progress GM, Ford and Chrysler are making in becoming lean. The sub-headline on the article is “Continuous improvement has taken hold in
But has it? I question the article’s conclusion because I believe it misses a major point.
The article, by Josh Cable, notes how quality and productivity have improved at the Big Three, basing that conclusion partly on figures from the most recent Harbour Report, which measures productivity. I’ve quoted the Harbour Report myself.
Additional information in the article notes the increased emphasis the
All of this is true, and yes, progress has been made. But there is a word missing from the article that goes to the heart of a lean transformation.
Applying lean techniques to make your processes more efficient and flexible is all well and good. It does produce benefits.
But to become a truly lean organization, you need to transform your culture. You need to become an organization where everyone, from the corner office to the shop floor, thinks in lean terms, never viewing the job as done, always striving for perfection, and endlessly pursuing continuous improvement.
I hope they make progress in that regard. But I’m not holding my breath.