The Toyota Kata and
The tasks for the HR department in a Lean Transformation are extremely crucial for the transformation to gain foothold and become a long-lasting culture change. HR development processes must support: the role design of the 1st line leaders, the selection of 1st line leaders, the development of 1st line leaders and the evaluation process of them. When these HR development processes are brought into the Lean Transformation, there is a much bigger change for a sustainable lean transformation.
The Lean HR Summit allows professionals to build a community of learning that builds the success of our organizations as a whole. As a developing area of management, we have an opportunity to learn from each other's success and failures as we continually find new ways of integrating HR activities into our lean initiatives. Lean Human Resources covers both ways you can improve your HR related duties as well as how you can support the success of your lean initiatives. HR is critical to long term success of continuous improvement and if left behind can be one of the causes of improvement effort failures.
The important question is not "what is Lean's role in HR" but "what is HR's role in Lean". HR's role in a Lean Transformation is critical and essential. For a Lean Transformation to be successful and go beyond implementing tools, an organization must address Purpose, Process, People and Problem Solving. HR's role is critical in all 4, but especially Purpose, People and Problem Solving. This is the journey the Lean HR Summit helps to build the skills and knowledge for success.
Lean and HR; HR and Lean. First, a question of terminology. I distinguish between lean in HR and HR's role in lean. Lean HR or lean in HR is not different from any other functions with internal management systems, processes and procedures. It using lean principles, concepts and tools to try to make work flow better to deliver service to customers and perform business function in the company. HR's role in a lean company or one aspiring to have a lean operation and culture is a very different animal. From my Toyota days, where HR partners with Production Control in managing the combined as in integrated and interdependent technical and social system of the company, HR's role is to assure that capable and engaged employees are available at the right time and place in the right amount to meet the production plans of the operation. HR's strategic role is to assure that as much thinking and prioritizing goes into maintaining and improving the capability of the human system that goes into maintaining and improving the technical system. Behind the scenes HR's role is to assure that leadership and management put as much effort into managing and developing the human system as they do the production system. In other words assuring that that human resource management and development is not just HR's responsibility.
The Lean HR Summit is a way for HR professionals and other key leaders to understand that Lean HR has two very important roles in the lean transformation. First is to deeply understand and support the lean culture and the shifts it creates in utilizing the genius of all employees; and second, how to extend the capacity of the HR resources by applying lean concepts to the processes that affect people. These two elements are very broad; but as a former CFO, I have learned by experience, that without significant shifts in how we engage employees and how we manage, we will never achieve the true outcomes possible with lean thinking. The Lean HR Summit is the creation of a safe place for the HR professional to learn and explore their critical role in a lean organization.