The critical role of sensei in developing lean leaders
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionProceedings of the Summer School Francesco Turco. 2021.
The aim of this paper is to illustrate how lean training initiatives developed through the intervention and support of a sensei can contribute to the development of lean leadership traits in team managers. The study is carried out on a single case study conducted in an Italian SME that recently implemented lean via 10 team managers. The assessment of the leadership was carried out at different stages of the project development, through direct observation and interviews conducted by three scholars and concerned the evaluation of a set leadership skills identified in literature. The results showed that mentoring actions of the sensei increase leadership abilities of people, stimulating them to teach others only when they are promoted with the top management sponsorship and endorsement. On the other hand, the study suggests that people show different propensity to improve their leadership skills, depending on their technical background and personal experiences.