Most traditional improvement tools and strategies are frequently ineffective and in many cases are applied for the wrong reasons. This isn't to say, however, that you have to reinvent the wheel in order to be adaptive. Many tools, when used in an adaptive business strategy - such as Business Agility, Lean, and Agile, can help you unlock entirely new capabilities and equip your workforce with the abilities it needs to face new demands, head-on. You must diagnose your business, make a prognosis, and create a work-climate that quickly adapts if your business is going to thrive.
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.
Choosing what organisational change methodologies to use in a transformation program can be daunting, particularly as different tools often become a mishmash -- a confused mixture of Lean, Agile, Business Agility and many others. If you are a change leader looking to develop yourself and your team and ultimately create a successful business, having purpose is crucial.
As I was attempting to categorise some of my previous tweets to share with a team to whom I was delivering a management workshop, one category, one of the many loose ones, that surfaced was philosophical. And, I couldn't resist sharing this story.
When thinking about your transformation program, particularly when using Lean and A3 Structured Thinking, here are some of my past tweets that will give you some food for thought.
When working on business transformations, I often start by showing the team a hybrid image of Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein, which was created by Dr. Aude Oliva at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is the same image but can be perceived in two different ways depending on the distance from it.
Manufacturing, the birthplace of Lean, has contributed a great deal to the ideas of flow, just-in-time processes, respect for people and shaping a management system that now dominates much of the manufacturing world.