I was extremely excited to attend the 1st Global Lean Learning Summit in Chester on the 24th and 25th of October. The thrust of the conference was, "What can Lean manufacturing and services learn from educational institutions that have applied Lean?" One of the many highlights was spending a morning at the Toyota UK Engine Plant.
I'm honoured to be judging and serving as the chair for my panel at this year's UK Business Awards on the 8th of November in London. Now in its fourth year, the UK Business Awards recognises individuals and organisations that have demonstrated exceptional business performance.
The Agile Coaching Exchange (ACE) was established in 2012 and is a meet up group for Agile practitioners in the greater London area, and it features some of the best and most creative speakers, thinkers and doers the community offers. Stephen is delighted to be speaking to the group on Wednesday, the 23rd of October, in London. Creating organisations that work for Lean and Agile thinking people is the theme of his talk.
It is amusing that numerous Lean experts cite the McDonald's fast-food system as a Lean system when in fact it is an excellent mass-production system. It does not even qualify as fake Lean, because it is not trying to pass itself off as Lean. Rather, it is the confusion in the minds of the so-called Lean experts. So, what are they getting confused about? Most likely it is about the concept of on-demand, flow and standardisation.
Traditionally, technologists sat behind an organisation’s IT department walls. When they delivered technology to the designated specification, they considered their job done. Lean, in its pure form, changed this entirely, and its legacy, can be felt in current change methods that recognise the importance of front-line staff and their engagement with customers.
It is easy to point out that changing technologies, revised business models and increased competition demand an agile and adaptive response from businesses so that they can survive. While many companies seek to use these technologies to understand customers and create evermore elaborate marketing strategies, applying the technologies to redesign organisations and the world of work are less understood. Most companies simply design the people roles to serve the technologies and then the technology becomes the master.
Blame is an interesting area of psychology, a legally authorised social mechanism, and a fairly baffling human quirk. Philosophers and theorists have competing ideas about what constitutes blame and its underpinning mechanisms. However, the philosopher Tognazzini (2014) says that blame “is a negative evaluative judgement that implies responsibility.” This is a good generalisation of what blame involves, and the keyword here is negative.
A brief introduction to the article: Many Agile and Lean practitioners who have been in the business for some time learn to differentiate between transformation efforts that are real and deep-rooted and those that are sincere yet superficial. Often practitioners will say amongst themselves that a transformation is the real deal or a cargo cult, and this article aims to expand upon the origins of the term cargo cult and why there are cautionary lessons for all of us involved in and advocate Business Agility and Adaptability.
If you are a change leader -- C-suite executive or middle manager, embarking on a change program, getting the foundations right is critical. This will determine the success or failure of your transformation. Read Waste Management from our eBook, Change Readiness: Planting the Seeds for Change Success or download it in its entirety here.
Where does all the rubbish go?
You will be familiar with the word “landfill” but have you ever actually seen one? Where exactly are these places? They never appear in that “points of interest” list on a satnav and they are never signposted off the motorway. The reason for that, of course, is obvious. It is why the dumpsters are hidden around the back of your favourite restaurant. Nobody wants to think about them, let alone see them.
Autumn is on the horizon, and apparently, September is the new January, so it is back to reality. In August, we were very busy with clients and preparing for September's conferences and other engagements. In this news review we will be highlighting (1) the CAFÉ Change Planner workshop, because we will be offering a taster session this month, (2) a presentation Agile Does Not Equal Business Agility and Adaptability, (3) upcoming events and (4) our top posts for the month.
As always, if you would like to discuss any of these items or would simply like to have an informal chat on strategy, please get in touch.