How Lean transforms relationships to empower employees and increase impact
Keywords:humanitarian, leadership, private sector, Lean
The challenges of humanitarian leadership are well-studied by the social sciences. However, there is untapped potential in applying private sector management principles and best practices to humanitarian work. Some non- profit organisations have fruitful experience applying Lean Management, an innovative management system developed by Toyota, which is not just about manufacturing better cars or improving industrial processes. Lean focuses the organisation on providing more value to its customers which, in the case of the humanitarian sector, are its beneficiaries. Our panel shared their experience of using Lean Management to address common issues in humanitarian operations. Their stories demonstrate the potential of Lean to transform work and relationships by devolving power to lower-level workers and partners. By empowering staff and local entities, it also improves relationships, collaboration, and ultimately the outcomes of humanitarian missions.
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