In my role heading up the team that is tasked with guiding Philips Accounting Operations' journey to Operational Excellence, I often use my Hansei time to consider whether I am adding sufficient value for the Customer. However, figuring out exactly who my Customer is and what Value Add ultimately is can be a complicated discussion and, as my job is certainly not to complicate things more than they already are, I simply consider that my job is waste or Non-Value Add (NVA), plain and simple, and, as with all NVA in the Value Stream, must be removed.
At this stage I feel obliged to clarify that I'm talking about the roles of my team and not the people. People are never a waste or NVA but the roles, or part thereof, that they do might be. Our People are, in fact, our only appreciating asset and this is the essential NVA that my team work on presently:
Developing our People's Lean Thinking and their competence in applying it in their daily work.
However, as a measure of the team's success, we must reach the point, as soon as is sustainably possible, whereby our services in these roles are no longer required, as we need the Operational Team members to be just as skilled, if not more so, than we are in the utilisation of Lean Thinking in their domain. At this point my team members should move into either another Transformation or into an Operational leadership role.
By thinking in this way, I hope that my team and I can adopt the mindset that, everywhere that our intervention is required, there must be competence gaps in the Operational Team that we are having to fill and that, by definition, this is wasteful (NVA) activity. Therefore, if we can develop those competences in the Organisation and ultimately remove the need for our intervention, we can increase the value add significantly. Similarly for my role, if I'm successful in Coaching and Developing my people, the first step of success must be to remove the need for my role, as the team should develop into an autonomous, self-directed team, co-developing their plans with the business and executing with excellence.
I realise that it is uncomfortable to think of our roles in this way but a lot of us do fulfil roles that, in the medium to long-term, must be considered NVA and it is my view that we should embrace this fact and be the architect of the role's eradication. This should not be seen as a negative thing, as if we do it well we will increase the fulfilment that we derive from the role and have a significantly positive impact on our Organisations, developing ourselves in competences such as Lean Thinking, Coaching, Change Management and Leadership. This will be a platform for our next career step, helping us to develop a career path delivering more value add for the Customer.
I realise that it is uncomfortable to think of our roles in this way but a lot of us do fulfill roles that, in the medium to long-term, must be considered NVA and it is my view that we should embrace this fact and be the architect of the role's eradication.
Circling back to my own role in particular, whichever way I look at it, ultimately the need for my role must be removed if we are to consider our Transformation to a Lean Thinking, Operationally excellent Organisation a success and I must make it a personal mission to develop our Organisation and our People to the point that my role is defunct.
Simply put, my job is to make my job redundant!
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."