How Effective Lean Leaders Model Behavior in King County (WA)

Danielle Hinz is the Chief Procurement Officer for King County, Washington. She had a very small experience with Lean in the organization where she come from in Colorado. But it was nothing like what they were doing in Finance and Business Operations (FBOD).

There was already a framework of visual management and visual control whiteboards that were being provided for how they do process improvement, and how they build employee engagement in the culture, so employees can really be inspired to focus on serving the customer in better ways, and finding efficiencies in their process.

Our leadership team has been doing daily huddles now for probably close to a year. And I was really inspired to do this in going to a Lean tour of Nordstrom. They have some of their teams that were doing daily huddles in front of a visual board. And I came back and wanted to try it because some of the problems they were using their board to solve were problems that I felt we had as well.

In a Lean culture, it’s really about coaching employees and enabling them to solve the problems that they find in their work.

One thing that worked well was she met one-on-one with every employee just to get to know them, and then she did her own process walks with employees. That really opened her eyes about how they are working because even though she had been in procurement for a long time, everyone’s process is slightly different.

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