On the Lean Thinker blog I came across this thought provoking lean culture deck by Mike Rother, author of (Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results) on a proposed definition of Lean:
“The permanent struggle to flow value to one customer”
Mike’s definition hinges around a key concept in great culture, that of mindset. Mindset enables people to apply a consistent cultural standard whatever the situation. Mindset becomes their foundation and starting point rather than which tool to apply.
Mike makes the case that many definitions of Lean treat it as a discrete toolset, something that Company B can pick up and apply in the same way as Company A to get the same results. For example, if Company A uses pink index cards and coloured markers to map their work out and achieved 45% reduction in overheads, Company B thinks all we have to do is get ourselves down to Staples, stock up on index cards and markers and we’ll magically achieve the same performance. Continue reading →