Monday, March 22, 2010
Executive Lean director presents at HRD 304
Debra Setman, executive director of Strategy Development and Business Improvement at Johnson & Johnson, recently guest lectured at HRD 304: Lean Principles and Practices in Organizations at Oakland University.
Debra Setman presents Lean to students in HRD 304.
Adviser for the Oakland University Pawley Lean Institute and chair of the newly formed Michigan Lean Consortium, Setman has been teaching for ten years and said that she loves the educational environment.
“Any chance that I get to go and talk to the next generation of Lean leaders is an opportunity that I really can’t pass up,” she said.
Setman discussed various Lean tools, including kaizen, kanban, value-stream mapping, standard work and quick changeover.
“I’m hoping that [students] took away the fact that Lean is not just about manufacturing processes, but that it’s a way of thinking,” she said. “It’s a way of living your life – at work, not at work. And it’s all about continuous improvement and striving for that one more incremental improvement.”
J&J has its own Lean training program, where employees become certified green belts, black belts and master black belts. J&J currently has about 4,000 green belts, 1,200 black belts and 700 master black belts.
According to Setman, Lean is logical, and it works. It’s been very successful in some of J&J’s operating companies.
“J&J has seen all sorts of savings, over a billion dollars if you want to look at it in financial terms,” Setman said.
“If you want to look at it from a cultural perspective, I think that people feel more appreciated. They are listened to. They are respected for the work that they do, and they’re not always dictated to. So they have more empowerment to make changes and to experiment with new ideas.”
The J&J credo even supports Lean. The company also received recognition for its success in operational excellence when a J&J facility in Mexico won the Shingo Prize.
For more information about HRD 304 or other Lean classes offered by the Pawley Lean Institute, visit www.oakland.edu/lean.