Lean Leadership Lessons from Lantech (video)


Our friend Paul Akers from FastCap recently visited Lantech, a leading lean manufacturer of wrapping and packaging machines. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Lantech has become a benchmark company that often invites visitors to share in their learning. Paul Akers interviewed their President Jim Lancaster on video to capture the four lean leadership lessons he was able to take away from Lantech.

In the video you will see a few visuals of lean practices within the Lantech factory. More importantly you will hear Jim Lancaster explain how to motivate people, how to know if your management team has true belief in the lean system, and why leadership needs to get our from behind consultants and educate people themselves.

3 Comments

  1. Joseph

    April 1, 2011 - 6:46 am

    Jon.
    Many thanks for posting this article.
    Every lean advocate should watch this video and learn. The manager for Lantech has a brilliant understanding of the issues that block the uptake of lean on a shop floor.
    At the end of this great video there are links to my hero Jim Womack. People should view him answering the 5 questions. It takes 9 minutes but could change the rest of your working life.
    The manager of Lantech has an objective to make his employees work day as happy and interesting as possible. I totally support this ideal. If you treat people correctly most of them will respond. As long as those who do not want to know are not disruptive the Lean process can move forward.
    I agree that there are more problems getting the correct buy in from management. They think they know it all. How wrong they are.
    This article is about shop floor Lean. There is a difference between it and Office / Management Lean.
    I would judge the Managers by how good they are at the none shop floor Lean. They are probably very poor and that is were you need Consultants to show them the LIGHT.
    As long as people stick to PDCA then there should only be positive steps made.
    Have a nice day.
    This has made a good day into a great day.
    Go to the shop floor and “SEE” what is happening.
    If I ever get any spare money I will buy shares in Lantech.

  2. Mahendiran Selvaraj

    April 10, 2011 - 7:46 pm

    We just have to be careful not to be biased on the shop floor. It is the shop floor, front, back offices and management that contribute to the success of a company. Instead of shop floor, I will say making everyone successful in their jobs is key to the success of the leadership.

  3. Joseph

    April 11, 2011 - 9:36 am

    Mahendiran.
    Many thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you.
    I was beginning to think that people were stopping answering Jon’s blogs because they did not like my comments.
    I thought we were all adults and able to express our own opinions.
    The plant where I learned Lean made NUMMI look like a walk in the park for John Shook. I know what hard to do is. I did not read it in a book or have the whole of the Toyota Empire behind me. But the job got done.
    The most important people in any company are the investors. Without them putting up their hard earned cash there would be no companies to write all of that good stuf called Lean about.
    You do not change people and companies by backing off. Life is not that simple.
    I will in future read these Blogs but not post a point of view out of respect for Jon.
    Have a nice day.