Most people today have heard of the concept of “lean,” the continuous improvement system pioneered by the automaker Toyota. Organizations like GE have since applied similar concepts to create other system like Six Sigma. The basic idea is to eliminate waste wherever and whenever possible inside a production system.
The rub, however, is that while most organizations that embrace lean see short-term results, they also struggle to sustain those gains over the long haul. The lean effort becomes frustrating for many organizations as they realize a culture of continuous improvement is never achieved.
As the former general manager of Wainwright, Mike Simms saw firsthand how the powerful combination of open-book management and incremental change can be as his plant earned the Missouri Quality Award, Baldrige Quality Award and Industry Week Best Plants in America Award thanks in large part to embracing a system called Open Book Lean.
Open Book Lean combines open-book management with the tools and techniques central to The Great Game of Business such as financial literacy, scorekeeping, huddle communication and MiniGames.
What Mike and his team learned is that if you open up your operation to the folks doing the work, and give them the tools and power to effect everyday change over the things they control, wonderful things will result. Case in point: Simms and his team implemented an astounding 52 improvements per employee per year for several years running.
Mike now works as a consultant helping other organizational leaders like Drew Seidel, who manages an American Electric Power plant in Hallsville, Texas, to implement their own employee engagement and continuous improvement processes. Mike and Drew will be presenting a session at The Gathering of Games where they will share lessons learned from the front lines as well as how Open Book Lean can help your organization – whether you’re an open-book rookie or grizzled Great Game veteran – get results like:
- Achieve 12 or more implemented improvements per year per employee;
- Enjoy a 70% to 85% employee participation rate (voluntary system);
- And implement safety improvements of 20% or more to help drive a safety-first mindset for the organization.