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May 07 Businessexcellence 1 Editor’s letter EDITORIAL Editor In Chief Martin Ashcroft DESIGN Production Director Zachary Smith PUBLISHERS Business Directors Andy Kerr Andy Turner BUSINESS Project Director Scott Mason Sales Managers Jim Coughlin Sean Brett Project Manager James Rose Administration & Operations Kathy Toomey Subscriptions Infinity Media LLC 100 Cummings Center Suite 246C Beverly, MA 01915 Tel: 978 232 9284 Fax: 978 560 0999 Businessexcellence ACHIEVING “Every body in motion continues along the same path unless acted upon by an outside force. That outside force must be leadership.” So say Mike Bawn and Jeff Watzka of Guidon Systems in their article LeanSigma in the data center on page 24 of this issue. It’s a theme that crops up time and again. Everyone with experience of transformational change stresses the role of leadership. As so many of our contributors agree, it doesn’t matter what products you make, or whether you make products at all. Perhaps you’re a service company, an engineer-to-order outfit, or you run a warehouse. It is possible to transform your culture through lean, six sigma, kaizen, but it’s only possible with strong, committed leadership. Transformational change requires a shift in thinking, and the new ways may not fit the traditional structure of the company. Don’t worry. You can change that, too; and your performance management incentives and compensation systems, if you have to. The chances are that you will. Once a workforce sees the benefit of contributing to cultural change, there’s no stopping them. John Petta of Solectron endorses that in our lead story on page six. But it’s your job as leaders to communicate the need for change, support the change process and align accountability. Gaétan Bolduc, president and CEO of Prevost Car (see page 12), began the lean journey 12 years ago with a kaizen. “We were looking for a tool,” he said, “and we found a culture.” Twelve years ahead of many, therefore, but he insists it’s not too late for anyone to start who has not yet done so. But, he cautions, “if the head of the company is not ready and if the managers are not ready, it will not succeed. If they are ready, they will be surprised at the results.” Lean leaders