Tag: Lean Mindset

Lean – Have it Your Way

It’s easy to determine whether the leadership of a company truly embraces lean thinking.  One of the more frustrating “tells” is the insistence of leadership to precisely follow the path others have taken.

The underlying notion of achieving the same or similar results may be appealing but it does not address why the specific path or methodology was chosen by a given company to begin with.  Many automotive companies have learned that lean is not a simple matter of copying and duplicating the practices of a company like Toyota.

If lean is indeed a journey, it is only fair to say that any competitor or other company you have chosen as a model to follow is still in the pursuit of perfection to achieve the ever elusive ideal state.  Since we don’t or can’t possibly know what their ideal state could possibly look like, implementing the best practices of other companies is merely nothing more than a starting point.

To be a “copy-cat” or “me too” company does little to differentiate you from the competition.  What advantage or benefit will the customer realize if you are just like all the others?

The tools of lean and six sigma are not the concern here.  Rather, the concern extends to the very systems and processes of the organization and business itself.  It is the underlying thinking that forms the foundation on which the organif the underlying thinking and assumptions

Innovation is Lean Thinking by Design

Differentiation is a trait best demonstrated by a company like Logitech.  While some companies simply attempt to make products faster and cheaper, Logitech’s appeal is to offer something more in the product itself.

Consider Logitech’s recently introduced flow technology where a single keyboard and mouse combination can seamlessly switch between two computers as though they were one.  Spending a little more money on a premium or advanced product offering is still cheaper than having to buy three of each and also offers the benefit of having more available desk space.

As another example, Logitech recently released the MX Vertical Mouse, an ergonomically designed mouse that improves performance, productivity and reduces the risk of injury that may occur due to prolonged use of the device.  Although the design changes are only slightly radical, they demonstrate the never-ending cycle of continuous improvement.

Systems, methods, processes, and procedures are present in every facet of an organization or business.  Consider how lean thinking can be applied to increase their effectiveness, improve performance, and ultimately eliminate waste.

As I’ve said before, “What you see is how we think.”  I contend that Lean thinking is best demonstrated by what differentiates your company from the competition.  The greatest value may be found in those elements that defy logic and the small things that set you apart to position your company ahead of the curve.

Until Next Time – STAY lean!Versalytics

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Lean Analytics and a little TRIZ

We are encouraged to see a significantly increasing interest in lean and agile strategy.  As we have emphasized in previous posts, the culture and work environment are as critical to the success of your initiatives as are the specific techniques, methods, and / or technologies that you will choose to use.  One of our favorite phrases to put our work environment into perspective  is, “What you see is how we think.”  We trust you will find the references in this post to be inspiring, thought provoking, and maybe even a little entertaining.

Analytics – In Perspective

The study of data can lead to some very interesting interpretations of the results.  We all have theories and with enough time and data we can prove them right or wrong.  Most statisticians, accountants, lawyers, and politicians can attest to this.  Data is typically studied and presented from a pre-conceived framework and variations are interpreted based on our chosen understanding of the model.

We have been researching cognitive dissonance and how this may affect the success of lean initiatives.  During our research, we found an article that describes how our thinking may actually influence or impede our ability to clearly see the problems or opportunities before us.  This article is self-explanatory and does not need much more by way of introduction.

Click here to view the Wired Magazine Article.

TRIZ:  We were recently asked to present a simple example that demonstrates the TRIZ concept.  While we agree that certain aspects of TRIZ can appear to be too complex to integrate into everyday problem solving, we found an excellent real world example that may surprise you.  This short video is only a few minutes long but speaks volumes.

Click here to view the video clip we found on TED.com.

The simplicity of this example makes it easy for everyone to understand at least one of the premises on which TRIZ is based.  Secondly, it serves as an excellent example to demonstrate how our perception and perspective can affect our ability to communicate new ideas and strategy to people who may not be familiar with our culture or environment.

Until Next Time – STAY lean!