Creating a culture of continuous improvement

BY JEFFREY K. LIKER - 2016-03-25

Lean is about obtaining brilliant results from brilliant processes.

-       By focusing on

o   Value

o   Value streams

o   Flow

o   Pull

o   Perfection

-       By eliminating WASTES from all processes

But how, this is the biggest question that is being asked by many organizations.

Problem with implementing Lean system is;

-       We get systematic change

-       Impressive model lines and wall to wall stability


-       Still disappointing budget results

-       Hard to spread beyond model line

-       Lots of conflict between the Lean excellence office & line management

-       Hard to sustain

So, what to do. The answer is, organization & management should focus on BUILDING A CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, for ongoing success – integral role of shared culture. A culture of quality people working together with shared values to continuously improve.

Culture is an integral part of the system: It is not just brilliant processes, but exceptional people in a supportive culture.

Is shared culture necessary for Lean?


1. Initial low hanging fruit stage

2. If a lot of supervision will be available

3. If just better Q,C,D are good enough


1. If you need highest Q,C,D as standard

2. If you want voluntary help - when Andon goes red!

3. If you want continuous improvement

4. There will never be enough managers for total quality!

Acknowledgement: Jeffrey K. Liker


Gemba Kaizen