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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: Next Generation Lean Practice

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

Question:  How do you make time for improvements? 
I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work when they’re already completely busy doing their regular work.

You may be making too much of a distinction between regular work and improvement. That might have sufficed in the 20th Century, when efficiency and cookie-cuttering the mass model seemed to be two universal business goals.

A “Generation” is approximately the period of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children. The original Lean movement in the West began in the 20th Century about a generation ago, within a business world where that 20th Century business mindset was still prevailing.

Since then we’ve watched many companies resort to periodic cost cutting — erroneously equating that with ‘Lean’ and ‘improvement’ — in an attempt to hang on to their old and once-lucrative business approach. But no matter how much an organization tries to resolve its problems by cost cutting, it makes no real impact and can even negatively affect the customer experience. In many industries on today’s more crowded planet, conditions are more complex and dynamic. Do you really want to teach the mindset that improvement is optional? Imagine what would happen, for instance, if humans stopped evolving.

You might enjoy the comments by Russell Ackoff in the brief video at this link:

–>  Striving is Different from Troubleshooting

 You might also enjoy this provocative SlideShare:

–>  Did Toyota Fool the Lean Community?

Mike

 

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