Think of an Etch A Sketch when you solely rely on a consultant to do the majority of your Lean work. A consultant may make a wonderful Lean picture for your organization, but once they are gone it only takes a couple of shakes to make it disappear.
Stephen Spear made a great comment on a recent Leanblog.org podcast. He said a lot of organizations just want to copy the Lean tools they see working in factories. He asks to picture a football team coach who gets the best plays from other teams and gathers the best players. He said the football team can not expect to win with this formula because the team has not developed the discipline.
Your Lean gains can only sustain if you have Lean thinkers developed throughout your organization. If you just put in the tools and only use front line workers to buy off on the change, it will eventually fade away like an Etch A Sketch picture.
My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation. How can I help harness that inspiration?