New Frontiers for Lean
I’ve been waiting for inspiration to get blogging this Holiday Season. Working on my international version of “The LUCKc Concept” of course consuming most of my time, I miss blogging. When I took off for a period visiting friends in San Francisco my airline opened up for a second luggage – that’s where all my research material went. Thirty pounds made it over the Atlantic. An most of it is recycled here by now.
In the Pile of papers, some articles and facts immediately caught my eye. This on titled “Next Frontiers for Lean” – published by McKinsey Company, written by Ewan Duncan and Ron Ritter. Read it! It includes sooo much I use to mention when on Lean assignments.
After making a smooth presentation of Lean in its first 50 years, they start exploring what frontiers are in the making for Lean. I agreed with so much in their notes I decided to take down these reasons in a list, so here it is.
A few reasons why Lean as a philosophy and methodology will gain in new areas:
1. More powerful sources of data are available today – more can be performed – and measured by the staff in the flow.
2. There’s a wider variety of smarter analytical tools – providing more opportunities in wider areas of businesses.
3. Making more sofisticated problem solving possible – new memories of new solutions and breakthroughs move mental borders.
4. New techy machines in your hand improve your abilities to solve the problem – processing power moving mental frontiers by introducing new tech ”now it’s possible”
5. Leading-edge companies are pushing leadership and strategy borders further – by this setting new standards
6. Introducing new use of energy – more can be acquired by less work
7. Being part of the lean community means acquring new skills daily – actors rethinking ”possible”
8. The working structure is bringing customer input directly to the supplier – an agreed transparent channel welcoming customer feedback
9. Adding the PULL philosophy where customers set the pace (”takt”) that things need to be created, instead of back-officedriven wishful thinking and storing values in stocks
10. New supporting technologies enter continuously, but is mostly unknown in general today
11. New relations to customers – as we work in new ways, so is our language with our customers. And our relations!
So, a lot of excellent reasons. And as an old Lean Guy I can see in these eleven areas how much more can be accomplished in a very both efficient and humane way. However, there ARE pitfalls.
Some. Not all – leaders and managers are not used to the pretty radical shift of power when it comes to leadership and decision-making.
The article mentions a number of areas where Lean makes its way. I am active in some of these; Hospitals, restaurants, retail banking, airlines and more. Who would disagree having a smarter way of loading/unloading a plane? Hotels are great – since they are in most cases super-transparent and the flow is very easy to identify: the guest. And one of the most important ingredients of Lean becomes obvious: “One Piece Flow”. Every person has the right to be respected. As is in hospitals, care-taking and schools!
My original plan was to add a part here on how The LUCKc Concept adds to all this – but this current (McKinsey, not mine) article is soo good it deserves to stand for itself! But instead of that – here’s an example what you can accomplish with your very own smartphone – a slowmotion-analysis of movements. Like this kite surfer in the Bay Area:
What’s your opinion?
My LUCKcy 2c tomorrow…