It’s true, I’ve become a Belieber.
No, I’m not into his music – actually, I have yet to hear a complete Justin Bieber song – not yet anyway. No, what I like about Justin Bieber is the fact that his success can teach us a few things about how to transform an organization toward lean thinking.
Have Passion and Love What You Do
Justin Bieber loves to entertain. He loves to sing, perform, dance and his enthusiasm is embraced by a gazillion loyal fans worldwide.
Similarly, when leading a lean transformation, you must visibly show your enthusiasm, interest, and sincerity. Leading by example cannot be underestimated and people will feel and see how interest and passion for spreading the principles of lean and helping others in the organization adopt and practice its principles.
Be a Doer and Hustle
I don’t know how old Justin Bieber is, but he looks about 12 years old or younger. Nevertheless, the kid is creating records, interviewing, performing in concerts worldwide – Justin Bieber is clearly not sitting around doing nothing. The kid is working like crazy and he appears to be loving every minute of it.
In your lean transformation, the work is quite different – it’s most focused on getting the broader organization to learn, adopt, and practice the concepts, method, and worldview of lean management. This means that one must hustle in teaching, coaching, mentoring, and helping all levels in the organization “learn to see”.
Build Something People Love
As surprising as it is crazy, millions of people like Justin Bieber’s music. I don’t know why, but he’s built a very large fan base. Hey, to each his own.
But that presents a great example for how we need to be thinking about our lean transformations. Organizationally, our ultimate goal is for lean to become the norm in the organization and no longer a “special project” or a “deployment”, but everyday practice, applied by everyone.
Still, it begins quite humbly and usually as a program or something much smaller. Even still, at the formidable stages of a lean transformation, it must be build and designed such that the people involved Love it. They love it because they are learning new skills, have a chance to apply those skills in a meaningful way, and they add value to the organization in a unique manner that they can be very proud of.
That’s the type of program that people can love.
Create Memory and Touch Emotion
I imagine Justin Bieber’s songs have a memorable chorus; certainly, many people find his looks memorable or his voice memorable. And, ultimately, his fans are touched by the message of his songs – it touches their emotion.
In a similar way, our lean transformations must pay equal attention to both data and to people’s emotions. Why? While data is good and is important, change in any organization is ultimately driven by people and emotion. So, focusing on what touches people’s emotions in the organization is time wisely spent and structuring the lean transformation in a way that creates wide involvement, commitment, and participation will create the burning platform for success.
Go To the Gemba
Lastly, Justin Bieber stays close to his fans through twitter and facebook and through other means. By doing so, his fans feel close to him and a connection to him. In a way, this is a version of going to the Gemba – Justing Bieber going into the world of his fans.
Similarly, lean transformations happen where the work is – where value is added. No, not a board room or around a conference table. On the shop floor or where the work is.
Let The Character Assaults Begin
Now that I’ve made my point, go ahead and let the character assaults begin . . .
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