One Does Not Simply “Implement Lean”
In the past, I used the term “implement Lean” and it's a hard habit to break. Back in about 2008, my client in the British NHS system really didn't like the term “implement.” One of the internal process improvement leads made a good case that the word “implementation” implied an effort that had an end point. We're not done implementing Lean. We keep improving.
As I've tried to start saying more, we are “Practicing Lean” (hence the title of this eBook project).
By the way, Michael Lombard has contributed a new chapter to the book, which I just released yesterday. Existing readers / previous buyers have been notified about the book update. If you buy the book today, you'll likewise get future updates for free too .
Last week, when I was teaching a workshop on Kaizen Coaching for our KaiNexus user conference, we had a great discussion about Kaizen being something you don't simply implement. It's an ongoing practice.
But think of other ways that term “implement” might seem silly.
Does one “implement leadership” and suddenly become a leader, yet alone a world-class leader? By the way “world class” is another silly term, since it's often unprovable and sort of meaningless and just sort of thrown around.
Does one “implement integrity?”
Does one “implement humility?”
For all of the organizations out there that try to copy Toyota or implement Lean, many of them are just picking and choosing certain tactics or ideas.
“Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.”
See my friend Chad Walters' blog post on the topic.
How many organizations are “implementing long-term decision making” as a goal? How many are “practicing” long-term thinking?
If you violate Rule #1 are you really practicing Lean?
Chapter 1 of the outstanding book Toyota by Toyota is all about leading with humility (and courage).
If you're not abiding by the first lesson (humility), as explained by former Toyota employees (Darril lives in the San Antonio area), are you really implementing Lean yet alone practicing Lean?
What else do you see missing from the implementation or the practice of Lean in some organizations?