Lean and Economic Development
Wisconsin is mentioned frequently here on the Lean Blog, with many small and mid-sized companies, in particular, getting great benefits from Lean (such as this case). Now, the Milwaukee newspaper is promoting Lean as part of the state's economic strategy. I'm just happy
“The state Legislature should boost funding for the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides technical know-how for small and midsize companies. Lawmakers should fund the ‘Get Lean' initiative, which will award grants to help companies adopt lean manufacturing principles. They should continue supporting engineering programs.”
I'm not big on the government micromanaging the economy, but I'd have to think that government support for Lean really would be a good investment, dollar for dollar. I'd maybe set up the grants so that there are certain guidelines, including not using lean productivity improvements to drive layoffs. It would probably be tough to set up real objective measures to see if they're doing lean “the right way” or if that lean investment would just be a waste.
Update: Kevin Meyer also blogged about this today