Lean Coaching

Go home                                                                                                                                                      Go to lean transformation

“The ability of your company to  be competitive and survive lies not so much in solutions themselves, but in the  capability of the people in your organization to understand a situation and develop solutions. And you don´t have to be perfect, just ahead of your competitors in aspects of your product or service” Mike Rother, Toyota Kata.

How are we creating a habit?

If you want to develop a habit, according to Stephen Covey you have to learn it, teach it and  live it (learning by doing).

It is better that people look at  what you do than hear what you say. It needed to answer at what to do and how; and of course the willpower to achieve it.

In consequence we´re in a planning stage:

1. Knowledge. What to do?
2. Practice. Responds to how and do
3. Conclusion: Test results. Have you been successful? Yes, no? Why?
Noam Chomsky also says similar  ideas  to Stephen Covey. A paradigm is our vision of the world and he says about it:

 "If you want to change and improve, work in practices, behaviors or attitudes. But if you want to make significant improvements, work on paradigms "

Before writing a personal mission, it´s a good help to describe our vision. It can help you to achieve a qualitative change in your life.

Human Brain Overview

Human Brain has got three parts that affect our daily and in consequence, we should consider and develop.

1.  Rational part: neocortex, the newer part of our brain according to Triune Brain of MacLean.

2.  Emotional part:   lymbic system (including the unconscious mind). Our emotions are related with the body, too.

3.  Spiritual part: according to Stephen Covey, Viktor Frankl  and others  is  related  with our vision, calling or life sense.  Other opinions with the skills developed by the mystics. Thanks to neuroscience and brain scanners (fmri), we can study the neuronal connections in meditative states, in peace and compassion feelings and the origin of the insights.

Lean habits are associated with all three. For instance, we need an analytical mind to cause-effect relations and planning tasks and empathy, hope and regulate emotions are needed to teamworking and leadership. Mindfulness  is useful in conflict management and gemba walks. You can develop it with meditation and silence.

After this little introduction, the next quote of Dr. Lair Ribeiro has sense:

 “Thinking logically is not enough to handle complex systems. Thinking has to include reason, emotion, intuition, perception, communication and creativity”.

Another approach is the theory of multiple intelligences by Howard Gardner: logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential. We have to develop the linguistic, the logical-mathematic and intrapersonal in our field. The interpersonal intelligence can be improved  in ours jobs; there are many social relations in a construction project. It  only needed will and observation.

Some people call emotional excellence to the development of the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Although some researchers deny the existence of Emotional Intelligence, but not the Emotional Competencies. Something similar happens with the Spiritual Intelligence and Spirituals Competencies.

Tips for purchasing the  lean habits

Kaizen habit will be explained in the next section

1. Cooperate

Trust in people, win-win approachs, develop your linguistic and emotional skills and generate synergies. Go to teamworking for further details.

2.   Stop and solve

Calmless is needed to find out the solution. Two approachs:

  1. Focus in solutions: typical from coaching.
  2. Scientific mind: interesting the paper of Steven Spears related. We´ll have to create a habit of cause-effect. If you carry with you a paper and a pen 24 hours, it´s very helpful.

Toyota use a simple method to find the root of the problems: the five why´s. It´s about questioning  five times why on a recurring basis till getting  to the origin of the mistake.

Last discoveries in neuroscience have showed brain is malleable. We can get what we want with attitude and a good workout. We should train our brain.

3. Standardize activities

Once the study has been carried out or planned how to perform an activity in resources, procedures and time; before starting it´s necessary to check if we have all the aspects and tools needed to execute it, to be consistent with the task.

It will be easier to find an answer to the setbacks of the project that arise if we standardize first. It´s helpful to establish cause-effect relationships.

4.         Personal Planning

Stephen Covey wrote a whole book about this habit called “First things first”. He left us this graphic to manage time:




Urgent important activities





Non Urgent important activities





Urgent non important activities





Non Urgent non important activities



1.       Sorting out your tasks accorting this time matrix. A leader or manager has to focus in II quadrant.

2.       Putting your roles and goals according to your personal mission: as a worker, as  a husband, as a father, etc…

3.       Placing  the tasks of the first and second quadrant in the weekly schedule  considering time and roles.

Other tools could be the mind maps of Buzan or the life wheel.

5.       Creating flow

It´s not about the book “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It´s about letting your ideas, thoughts and projects in the world, not for you. Your networking will do the rest without any effort of your part.

Other habits like “kaizen” and “observing” are showed in other sites of this blog. The most important habits are these three: 

1.       Kaizen: improve every day

2.       Create value and flow. You´ll have to plan.

3.       Know your weaknesses (constraints according to Goldratt in his book  “The goal”)

There are gurus of leadership like Jim Collins propose to hire the best, most qualified workers and managers. This means to get the sack your current board member. The transformation through coaching could be a solution. It´s something similar with the four pillars for the education of the XXI century in Delors report.

Next you can read a quote of Michael Balle, lean consultant and writer, in  his essay "THe Psychology Lean". It can be found in articles.

"The main psychological aim of lean management is to make people to clarify the cause-effects relationships between the way they work and their performance level, so that these causal relationships can be shared and refined. Lean management strives to help all employees see the consequences of their actions on their processes, understand the problems they create, and realize that they have the power and creativity to change things and improve both performance and process".

Go home                                                                                                                                                      Go to lean transformation