Too many lean implementations suffer from a focus on problem-solving skills, but a failure to attend to the system or culture of motivation. Too many rely on the "they oughtta wanna" assumption, which usually results in disappointment.
Ultimately all organization performance comes down to human behavior, and there are always two aspects to achieving high performance: One is competence and the other is motivation. There must be competence in technical skills, and there must be competence in social skills such as teamwork and problem solving, for example. But, skills are useless unless individuals are motivated to use them.
From my experience at Toyota and Honda and other high-performing organizations, there is a high degree of motivation for not only personal success, but the collective success of the group -- the team and the company. Many of those implementing lean would do well to focus more on creating a systematic approach to motivating all members of the organization.
Learn how to create a motivational management system at IndustryWeek.
IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain Group.