Leaders Standard WorkEffective and efficient strategy deployment demands collaboration and supportive leadership. These two requirements are essential in engaging both the horizontal and vertical functions of an organization. The leadership team also must be able to deploy strategy with commitment, consistency, and with self-effacement, a great deal to ask for. However there is a proven tool called Leaders Standard Work used by a leadership team in support of strategy deployment.

“For Something to change someone has to start acting differently.” Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch.

Any new strategy, solution, new technology, or policy requires encompassing change. The most significant barrier to effective strategy deployment is change. What needs to be understood? People will be expected to change behavior and the new behavior will require additional energy by people going through the change. Leaders must also understand the effort is two sided. These additional efforts are not so easily accepted especially when people’s current work processes are accepted through experience and with some positive results. So how is this change going to make it easier to do work? What is the benefit?
Change is difficult, this is common knowledge. To overcome the complexity of strategy deployment takes a committed leadership team. The team itself must realize behavioral change will be required by everyone. Workers and leaders alike can agree on the needed technology, solutions that show early results, shift in organization structure, required knowledge and skills, and number of people but when people start to realize they must change their day to day behaviors, things start to get difficult.


Things that are done every day by successful Leaders – Standard Work. Leaders Standard Work is a proven tool, applied by a leadership team, for effective strategy deployment alignment. The leadership team utilizes the tool to provide a common and consistent approach in obtaining acceptance of the strategy throughout the organization. It is a tool that will facilitate learning and behavioral change.
Leaders Standard Work Warning

Warning – Applying Leaders Standard Work, for strategy deployment, by a few leaders, will fail



  1. Identify common leadership tasks completed every week
  2. Are they value-add related to customer and strategy
  3. Agreement in how to execute
  4. Time required to execute each task
  5. Which strategy input metrics will be influenced

Listed below are the supportive leadership practices for developing the desirable behavioral change. First, each organization leader starts by individually designing their weekly standard work by using the following list as a guide to create their daily agendas. These leaders then get together to understand if they have achieved standard work congruence that will incite the required changes. There will, of course, be a difference of some standard work because most companies are hierarchal structured. The key is in attaining a known and shared leadership standard work. The daily standard work is structured to achieve the organization’s strategy the leadership team has planned, cares about, believes in, and is committed to:
– All leaders must schedule to attend the common and daily leadership team meeting to review the effectiveness of Leaders Standard Work, what has been learned, and ideas for improvement
– Demonstrating daily behavior that creates an approachable environment, deflecting attention away from yourself, the first step in active listening
– Learning in detail customer value added activities, list them. Schedule each day by spreading awareness of at least one of these values.
– Identify behaviors that create small wins towards the strategy, and encourage through small celebrations and recognition.
– While in the value stream schedule one on one sessions and look for opportunities to comment on and directly point out how efforts are contributing towards the overall strategy.
– Articulation of how meeting one target condition leads to the next, establish “we are never satisfied”
– Schedule a mentoring session for one of your Gemba walks
– Ensuring a successful environment for everyone. Developing people and the work environment
– Look for small celebrations, do not wait for a weekly or monthly result. Celebrate with an audience.
– Create a visual management environment allowing daily positive feedback and coaching
– Support problem solving by getting involved. Provide knowledge resources to teams who are currently struggling.
Support, Teach, and Promote the strategy, everyday
– Understand who has progressed, learned, or changed behavior. Let it be known you would like to be part of thanking people who have had some accomplishment in contributing towards the strategy. Another momentum builder.
– Schedule a weekly meeting with key customers (this is not a meeting with Sales people only)

Some leaders will immediately assess they will be unable to create a daily agenda that includes most of these practices. They are right, but only when thinking the frequency of going to Gemba is limited to once per day. By the way, most of Leaders Standard Work is executed in the Gemba.
To be successful and supportive, leaders must understand their behavior must change also, a minimum of three visits per day is essential to establish the expected culture. If you are wondering if this includes the leader at the top of the local organization, the answer is an absolute yes! However, it does not mean the leaders go as a group, this will not provide the needed coverage for effective communication and development.
As the leadership team practices and adopts what has been witnessed as success they will want to learn other leadership skills. This should be in the strategic plan, continuous learning by the leadership team.


Outside the benefits of effective strategy deployment, leaders will start to become aware other positive changes happening because of the practice of Leader Standard Work.

Knowing co-worker’s Leaders Standard Work routines affords time

When your daily standard work is aligned with your co-worker’s standard work you will notice more time is available. This is because co-workers start to notice what you do every day. Your repeatable efforts are learned and respected by others. They are much less likely to interrupt what you consider as valuable time, including who you report to. When everyone is working towards the same objective needed changes and target achievement happens at a faster pace. The advantages of achieving teamwork.

Leaders Standard Work aligns leaders with strategy deployment, creating the needed momentum

Strategy deployment requires consistency, a consistent message, consistent behavior, and daily support from all leadership positions. This provides the opportunity and support for everyone to adopt the needed change. Successful strategy deployment requires adaptation by everyone, one person at a time. As people jump on board the needed momentum is created, creating motivation to accept the needed behavioral change.

Increased Leadership and Employee Engagement

There will be unexpected responses towards how the strategy is being implemented. With an approach of uniformity, the leadership team can more easily understand both positive and negative responses towards strategy deployment. With Leaders Standard Work designed to be as uniform as possible, throughout the leadership team, leaders can speedily (daily) discuss and formulate responses that help people see the why in the new strategy. This ability to be fast paced at learning and then articulating the correct responses builds needed trust for worker buy in and engagement. Leadership and employee engagement will suddenly increase.


Leaders Standard Work deployed in strategy deployment is extremely powerful. Leadership’s responsibility is managing change. People resist change because it requires a change in behavior, their day to day routines will be disrupted. To bring about a needed transformation, effective change requires a committed leadership team. A leadership team will struggle without the application of combined actions which is the essence of teamwork. Leaders Standard Work fashions teamwork.

Lean Teams USA

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