Life Lessons and Lean – Success Needs Change

Lean Thinking

In this is the first article in which we will touch on some of life’s lessons any of us over thirty should have learned by now and how they relate to Lean. And if you are under thirty do not feel bad there are a lot of 30+ year olds that haven’t gotten them either.

Creating a Different Better Result Requires Changing Something

It surprises me just how many people cling to the beliefs that if everyone just tried harder or they tried harder things will get better. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way even if Wall Street’s elite want it so. The reality is that in order to improve anything someone first has to do something differently than how they currently do it. Life lesson one is for anything to improve change has to first occur to allow the improvement.

 How does this apply to Lean, well unlike most business systems, Lean looks for ways to cut cost that are not necessary, while most current business system demand across the broad cuts. If across the broad cuts would work GM wouldn’t have gone broke and most western governments would have balanced budgets and would have eliminate their debts.
The reality is that in some areas you can cut cost without doing any harm (by waste elimination), but in other areas if you want to see improvements you actually need to spend money. Lean is about seeing the reality and cutting the unneeded waste so that you can spend that on activities that producer greater value. When you produce a higher volume of value at a lower cost, guess what you increase the wealth of your organization, the wealthier the organization gets the greater it can reward its owners and employees. Lean looks to accept life’s lessons and adapt ourselves or our organzation to them.

Lean Thinking Points

We should all stop and ask ourselves questions like these regularly:

If it didn’t work the first time (often the first twenty plus times) why could it work now? I have never seen a politician or an economist ever answer this one, nor for that matter most corporate executives.

What have we been doing that we could do differently somehow? Honestly there is never just one way to get anything done, so there has to be at least one thing you can do differently.

I am sure that anyone can add to this list if they stop and think about logically, but it is the simplicity of them that makes them so useful. By the way there is rarely a real answer to first one, in fact I have only ever encountered one, but the first attempt happened years before, and other changes made the second attempt a viable option.

Life Lesson Conclusion

Life lesson on is if you want to improve something you first need to find something to change for the better. That change maybe by eliminating a waste or increased spending on value creation, just doing more of the same will get you nothing but the same result.