Pursuing Lean? You Better Know All Four Pillars!

Later today I have the pleasure of joining my good friend Tracy O’Rourke for the next episode of GoLeanSixSigma.com’s Just In Time Café podcast. Tracy and I will be discussing how to achieve Lean Culture.

After 10+ years in the Lean Six Sigma industry, my colleagues and I were fed up with the “tools first” approach so many organizations were taking toward process improvement. On the one hand, senior leaders said “we want Lean Thinking to be part of the DNA of our organization.” On the other, the initiatives they sponsored focused on primarily on value-stream maps, DMAIC projects and training Green Belts. Tools, tools, and more tools.

The result of this all-to-common approach was certainly the completion of some solid projects, but little movement in the culture of the organization. Culture is about “group norms of behavior and the underlying shared values that help keep those norms in place.” Training a small percentage of an employee base to be “process-improvement warriors” doesn’t impact group norms of behaviors or the underlying shared values that keep those norms in place.

If you want Lean Culture to really take root in your organization, Continuous Improvement is just one of the Pillars you must pursue. Without the other three, you very well may find your employee base thinking Lean is just an acronym for “Less Employees Are Needed.”

  • Are you considering Lean Six Sigma?
  • Have you already started your Lean Journey?
  • Do you want to engage your employees, delight your customers and satisfy your stakeholders?


Download the Roadmap to Achieving Lean Culture to learn about all four of the Pillars you need to build the healthiest organization possible!

And stay tuned for a link to the next GoLeanSixSigma.com Just In Time Café podcast.


Brett Cooper

Brett is the visionary President of Integris Performance Advisors, a professional development firm he co-founded to expand the existence of healthy organizations and great places to work. By creatively bringing together concepts from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (by Patrick Lencioni), The Leadership Challenge (by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner), and Lean Six Sigma, Brett and his team have influenced thousands of people in government, non-profits and corporate America to work together in more productive, more effective and more human ways. Outside of his role at Integris, Brett dedicates time to serving others in need. He is a volunteer coordinator for the East Bay Stand Down and Stand Down on the Delta, two non-profits serving the needs of San Francisco’s homeless Veteran population. He is also board member and financial sponsor for Partners in Sustainable Learning, whose mission is to bring early childhood education to marginalized communities in the developing world (current projects are underway in Nepal).
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