A Partner’s View of KEP’s Leadership Journey
A 3-Part White Paper Series by Darla Klein, Principal and Owner of LeaderSHIFT
An honest, up close look at our partnership with Kent Elastomer Products, an American manufacturer committed to transparency and growth.
Part 1: Improvement Requires a Shift in Thinking – and It Has to Begin at the Top
Excerpted from Part 1:
Spend any time at all with Kent Elastomer Products (KEP) and you quickly realize how passionate they are about continuous improvement and how they’ve used Lean to increase efficiency, reduce waste and maximize the company’s potential. What you may not realize, however, is how Lean led KEP into its leadership journey and the path that journey has taken over the years. My name is Darla Klein, Principal and Owner of LeaderSHIFT, Inc. and I’ve had the privilege of traveling alongside KEP on that path. It’s my honor to have been on the journey with them and to capture my perspective here.
Part 2: Leadership Markers Help the Team Become Better Partners to Each Other – and to Clients
Excerpted from Part 2:
The first time KEP’s journey was illuminated by a better understanding of accountability happened around safety. Like many organizations, safety at KEP was held up as everybody’s responsibility. While that sounds good, what’s the problem with safety being everybody’s responsibility? If it’s everybody’s responsibility, well, then in reality, what happens is that it’s nobody’s responsibility. Everybody assumes someone else will take care of it.
Once this concept came alive for the senior management team, the switch to safety is my responsibility began with them and then cascaded throughout the workforce. And once it started with safety, the transition began in other areas as well.
Part 3: Turning Best Practices Into a Strong Company Culture
Excerpted from Part 3:
The concept of measurement has been around in business for a long time and people are quite familiar with the saying “What gets measured, gets done,” or, more accurate for KEP: “What gets measured can be improved.” Scorecard, dashboard, key performance indicators – different organizations use different names for their metrics. In reality, it doesn’t matter what they’re called as long as the metrics accurately identify numbers that show how the business is doing and highlight any patterns and trends.