As Manufacturing Growth Director, Steve helps businesses to compete, innovate and grow providing advice and support on new product development, intellectual property protection and production process optimisation. His broad career includes MD of £75M multi-site, European medium volume manufacturing company, Director of global sourcing in a $12B US corporation, MD of an off-shore engineering company in India and design and engineering leadership in sectors spanning aircraft to lawn-mowers. He has a PhD and MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design, Cranfield, BSc Aircraft Engineering, Salford and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Often, when we work with a business to implement Lean or improve their current Lean implementation, we find that they are using only one tool and that they are applying it to the “hot topic” issue in their business. Seeing Lean applied to businesses is wonderful, but by only applying a single tool, these organisations are rather missing the point. Lean works best when multiple tools are brought together, linked and integrated into your business culture. The creation of a Lean Academy could well help.
Lean Academies are simple, but highly effective instruments within a transformation programme. They bring the key staff on your improvement team together, enabling them to raise the profile of the programme, sustain the lean journey as a whole – training and engaging with new recruits as they join the organisation - and deliver the programme in a linked, company-relevant manner.
Every Lean Academy is unique – it has to be if it’s to properly reflect your business – but successful Lean Academies all have the same essential ingredients. Top-Level buy-in is a must. From the C-Level down, the programme and the Academy must be seen to be essential to the company and its culture. The Academy also needs to get the word out about their work and their plans. If the Academy members are enthusiastic about their work, it’s easier for everyone else to be and they should publish their results and accomplishments.
At EEF, we’re working with a number of businesses to implement Lean Academies and as part of our Tailored Training service, many of our consultants and trainers are working directly within businesses to implement Lean programmes and create Lean Academies that are driving positive changes. We’re also currently developing a Lean Academy product through our Aston Technology Centre.