I wanted to give a shout out to some fellow bloggers today. Normally, when I give a shout out it has to do with reading something by another blogger that influences me to go and change my work.
Not this time. I have to give credit to some fellow bloggers that have the will to continually read articles and blogs that those in the lean world, like myself, find to be ridiculous.
Bill Waddell, Kevin Meyer, Mark Graban and others continue to read material by others that is so rooted in traditional mindsets that it can be appalling. Yet they do this and provide perspective to the rest of us so we don’t have to waste our time reading it.
I say THANK YOU!
It is always good to read and learn about “the other side.” It helps to combat the myths and misunderstandings of lean.
I have tried this and from time to time can read the other material but I struggle. Knowing that mindset is still so rooted and these “experts” are continuing to think this way can drive me absolutely BONKERS!!! And that is the medial term.
So to Bill, Kevin, Mark and others…Thank you for helping to keep me informed. By doing so, you help to keep my sanity.
I know this post is a few days behind, but the news is big enough to warrant posts for several weeks. Jim Womack is stepping down as the CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). Mr. Womack was the founder of LEI in 1997 and a integral part of bringing lean to the fore front in the United States. Without Mr. Womack, who knows where the U.S. would be in regards to understanding lean thinking. He has had such a enormous impact on lean thinkers.
Mark Graban posted about the announcement over at the Lean Blog last week. I want to look at it from a different lens.
I am glad to see the change. Not because I think Mr. Womack is “past his prime” or lean has “passed him bye” as you hear with coaches in sports or people in business. I am glad to see him role modeling leadership traits that he has helped us come to understand.
The first is succession planning. It wasn’t a hap-hazard plan that he was going to step down and now who to we put in his place. “Oh look John Shook is here lets have him takeover.” It was a two year process where Mr. Womack and Mr. Shook worked closely together, assuming so Mr. Shook could learn the ins and outs of LEI and “The LEI Way.”
The second trait Mr. Womack is role modeling is one you don’t see much from very top leadership. Humbleness. Mr. Womack sees it is time for change and understands that Mr. Shook can bring in the right change. Not scrap everything and start over change like you see in a lot of traditional leaders, but understand “The LEI Way” and improve upon it type of change. Too often you will see top leaders stay at the top until everything crumbles around them, then points fingers, and gets forced out. Mr. Womack sees it is time to step down even when things are going well for LEI, expansion into health care is a good example, because it is best for LEI.
I wish Jim Womack all the best and I thank him for pushing all of our thinking to the limits.
I also look forward to the future of LEI and what John Shook will bring to the table.