I saw this on the Travel Channel's “Made in America” show, about Maker's Mark Bourbon:
Bill Samuels, Sr. decided to create a distinguished style of bourbon whisky. So he left the T.W. Samuels Distillery and began his new venture by burning the 170-year-old family recipe.”
We use the phrase “burning platform” a lot, the idea of giving people a “no turning back” reason for change or improvement (often in the lean context). One version of the origins of the “burning platform” story can be found here.
Are you as willing to be as gutsy when putting aside your old “family recipe” for manufacturing (or doing anything) the old “non-Lean” way? Are you willing to burn it and leap into the Lean abyss? Is this necessary if you're really going to adopt Lean?
I think too many companies struggle because they say they are going to adopt Lean, but they just “dabble” with Lean and try to fit some Lean tools into the non-Lean mindset and practices of the company. That's a recipe for frustration. It might even drive you to drink!
What's your company's “burning platform” in manufacturing? Competition from China? Poor quality? Demands from customers to cut costs? What works for you in your Lean adoption? Has your company struggled without a burning platform issue?
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