1- Philippe, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an Executive with 20+ years of progressive experience in leading
worldwide manufacturing operations and their transformation to a LEAN
enterprise environment. 20+ years of extensive international experience
in driving business development, capacity expansion, and change management
in World class companies.
I have a solid business experience in Europe (France, Germany, Belgium,
etc), Middle East (Egypt, Dubai), Asia (HK, Thailand, etc).
Developing people to achieve goals through a collaborative, team-oriented
approach with cultural sensitivity is key for me.
2- How do you define Continuous Improvement?
Continuous improvement is a never-ending journey that will take us to
Operational Excellence, or the point at which each and every employee can
see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks
Setting the goal of perpetual improvement makes the operations more
efficient and may incrementally reduce cost and more over enhance customer
service. It applies to every level and every person in the organization,
from executives all the way down to the employees producing the product.
3- Is it true that for the most of us we resist change?
I would say that most of us have specific reasons for resisting changes:
• Loss of Control of the new Process – staff is used to the old process and
they may have less control of the new process.
• Wondering if Change is Good – This is especially a factor if management
does not clearly show their full support of the change.
• Not Enough Information – when operators are faced with surprises they did
• Loss of Face – Some employees who supported the old system may feel
• Not Enough Knowledge – Some employees may feel that they do not have
enough knowledge or training to work under the new system.
• Loss of Employment – The possibility of future layoffs if the system
works well. Inform them that an efficient operation will ensure and
possibly increase employment.
4- Kaizen/Lean/CI/TPM, why is it important for us?
Improvement in any company cannot be made without stability in:
Stability starts with visual management and 5S system. 5S/Kaizen supports
standardized work and TPM, which is the key to method and machine
stability. Finally, 5S/Kaizen/Lean supports just-in-time (JIT) production
by providing point-of-use information that ease decision-making.
5- How is leadership important to the success of the lean manager/director/facilitator?
Leadership should ensure that CI/5S develops deep roots in the company and
becomes the normal way of doing business. Involvement is the key. This
journey should belong to all the team members;
Communication, promotion and training are the means.
To guide this development, top‐down change management should be replaced by
“lean” visions and guidelines. Under this umbrella, the individual
development projects should unfold as consciously managed innovation
processes that encourage bottom‐up creativity and learning.
6- Does a good leader in today’s world need to balance both the goal
achievement part with the people skills part?
Good leader in today’s world needs to balance both the goal achievement
part with the people skills part. One cannot go without the other. In the
LEAN world, PEOPLE are the most important input. Leader has to address
• What qualities do we seek in our team members?
• How do we train and develop them?
• How do we retain them?
• How do we motivate them?
• Through what activities do we involve them?
• How will we measure each of these parameters?
The Italian Lean Managers Society (AILM) thanks Philippe and wish him a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!