There are many books that are not at all about lean, but the lessons they contain are very helpful to a lean journey. Here’s one such example:
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
While this The New Yorker writer has captured in The Tipping Point a history of everything from fashion trends to social diseases, to the lean mindset, he provides an explanation of the social elements of change management. While lean changes how the company works, thinks, acts and solves problems, it is the kind of change that must be embedded in the social makeup of the company, from person to person. Gladwell examines how small beginnings turn into massive waves of change, which lessons can apply very well to helping craft a lean transformation plan.
The first element is the Law of the Few. Most massive change takes place through a small subset of people. The Connectors of those people who know everybody and everybody knows. They become a major conduit of information and ultimately change. Find your Connectors, and make sure they are plugged into your lean transformation. The Salesmen are those who convince others, and their daily pitch will win people over. The Mavens are the experts, whose expertise lends credibility to the message.
The second element is the Stickiness Factor. Your message must have meaning and grab people. Getting people to change behavior because “the competitive landscape requires us to achieve new core competencies in an integrated enterprise-wide change” will not get many people behind you. The third element is The Power of Context helps you understand the broad underlying factors of your change.
A warning: think about your lean change BEFORE and DURING this book, because if you try to apply it to your lean change AFTER, you will struggle much more than you have to.
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