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Herb Thompson on Mobilizing Your Lean Culture

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In my recent conversation with Herb Thompson, we talked about his approach to driving change in an organization. Given Herb’s background as a sergeant in the US Army, he has a unique perspective in how to motivate and lead individuals. He has transformed what he learned in the armed services into valuable skills for the private sector.

When coming into a project, the first thing is to consider is the leadership. According to Herb, “Getting the pulse of the culture, understanding the commitment at the leadership level, and appreciating the commitment it takes to actually do a lean or continuous improvement transformation is where you should start.” This provides the foundation for all other parts of the project.

The mobilization of a lean culture has to permeate all levels and areas of an organization to be truly transformational. That means everyone needs to become a problem solver. Create an army of problem solvers with the appropriate training and resources.

“Being problem solvers, I think that’s the key. Extend this concept of problem solvers across the line in an organization and specifically top the front line shop floor. That’s going to enable your success. So that’s the biggest thing I’m saying, where you can have the success, problem solving at the proper level with the proper resources.”

Herb emphasized that if you establish a culture of being able to change and to drive continuous improvement as a foundation throughout the organization, it won’t just change everyone’s sense of responsibility for operational performance and also the level of trust within the organization. That level is trust is critical in managing uncertainty and staying focused during times of crisis.
When managing through difficult times, Herb advises, “at the end of the day, trust the process. Don’t deviate from the process and don’t make changes for the sake of making changes. Have a leadership presence to guide and don’t be scared to make changes and make adjustments.”

About Herb Thompson:
Herb Thompson is the owner of Lean Business Transformation LLC and offers dynamic and strategic management leadership with 25+ years of experience increasing team performance. Herb expertly combines innate business acumen, ability to secure buy-in, and technical training to improve safety, increase productivity, and cut costs. He combines Six Sigma tools and the lean manufacturing philosophy to eliminate waste while assuring quality in production and organizational processes.

He has the certifications in:

  • Lean/Six Sigma Master
  • Six Sigma Lean Professional & Change Management Specialist
  • Internal Auditor Certificate – International Standards Organization
  • Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Specification
  • Total Quality Management
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