"If you want results others don't get......
You need to be willing to do things others won't do."
If I run my business like everyone else, then I can probably expect pretty much the same predictable results.
Sometimes we get so caught up in applying lean that we forget why we're even doing it in the first place!
So why would anyone in their right mind get away from a time tested,
conventional, MBA taught, top down, Drucker endorsed business strategy? "Lean" (really TPS) is, as they say in Boston, "wicked hod".
Everyone knows that most of the time, attempts at a lean strategy whither on
the vine, and we also all know that the only thing more fun than "change
management" is "root canal surgery".
To be successful in creating a lean culture, we need 100% of everyone to redefine how they work and how they serve their customers. We also need to re-think the value of our
silos/departments/kingdoms and we need to learn to work seamlessly together,
for the benefit of our internal, and ultimately, our external customers. Businesses that stick with it are usually the ones you'll find on those "best companies to work" lists (check out Ulbrich Steel).
What if I want to make sure employees are in a position to purchase their own homes if
they want to, send their kids to college, take their families on vacation,
retire with a good nest egg, etc.? Can people do this, or do they need to leave you to do it?
Enter that lean strategy. The plan is to grow our business without automatically adding people to spikes in demand or to hide process problems. Lean is about productivity! Can we focus on increasing sales per labor hour by involving EVERYONE in first recognizing then eliminating the 8 wastes (non value added work) in every single one of our hundreds of
processes (from how we hire to how we make things to how we pay invoices, etc.,
If we develop a way to do this, people's quality of life and prosperity improves dramatically, we can pay more, and people stay. Not to mention we can make much more difficult
for our competitors.
When asked "what is lean?" most people say something about eliminating waste. The real answer is improving lives. But, if everyone wants results others don't get, everyone needs to be willing to do things others won't do!