I have been reviewing some of my lean learning, and it took my back to some of Jim Womack’s work that I had read. In Jim’s article ‘Fewer Heroes, More Farmers’ which was written a number of years ago, and yet still holds true, he talks about the difference between a hero and a farmer, and why we need more farmers.

Heroes are people who are often ‘drafted in’ to look to bring order to an area of disorder and confusion. This is necessary in some instances, but what often happens after this apparent initial order has been created, is that the ‘hero’ moves onto something else to create order from chaos. Whilst this could be seen as beneficial to the ‘hero’ what it doesn’t give us is the ability to complete the necessary ground work so that the broken processes can be repaired so that the people can work the process rather than have to find ways to work around the broken process.

What we want in the workplace include strong leaders that can be both farmer and leader without being a hero.

  • Do you have broken processes that you are continually working around that you want to fix but ‘don’t have time’?
  • Do you have an organisation where your improvements are being diluted and you are looking for ways to strengthen it?
  • Do you feel like you are working at 100 miles an hour and not seeming to make much headway?

Answered yes, to any / all of the above, then get in touch to see how we can help.



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