Leadership is weak, uncommitted to Lean Thinking, and lacks skill and deep understanding. A dramatic change must take place to support and sustain a Lean transformation that starts with a diligent and disciplined focus on self development.
I have observed this phenomenon in a number of Lean Transformations, as Leaders espouse Lean and desire the results that they believe it can bring but are unable (or unwilling) to understand what that means for them and to make the changes necessary in their behaviour to enable the Lean Transformation.
So what is the solution?
Lean Leadership must be central to the business' Lean Transformation and we need to have the courage to stop the transformation if the leadership are not playing their part; actively defining the 'Burning Platform' for change, running Kaizen Events and going to the Gemba to perform Problem Solving, Kamishibai, Coaching and their Leader Standard Work. The model / approach that we use for deployment must include these elements as central and fundamental to success.
Coaching and the development of the Leadership needs to be undertaken by People whom they can trust and respect; not only for their understanding of the Lean Tools but for their Holistic understanding of Lean Thinking and how this interfaces with the Business Strategy. Only when the Leadership can see that Lean Thinking is an integral part of their Business Strategy, and not simply an improvement initiative, will they fully grasp necessity for change (see my earlier posting).
My advice is to take some Hansei time and reflect on whether your Lean Transformation has this Critical Success Factor embedded and whether you've given yourself the chance to succeed.
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."