To lean, or not to lean?
Should you start lean in a difficult period such as this? But shouldn’t I wait things out? Shouldn’t I take it slow? Or keep my head down? No. I think this is a great time for companies to be focused on a lean journey. Here are my reasons.
- Companies will only do it because it’s going to help them improve, not just because it’s a fad. People don’t have time for a fad right now.
- Most companies are much more clear than ever about their big problems. They know what they are and are focused on doing something about it. And this can help focus a lean journey on the right objectives.
- Employees from top to bottom are a little more willing to step out of the comfort zone and try different things. This is because they realize everyone must do their part. And lean takes a little extra. It’s not easy, and requires some personal risk as people learn new behaviors. Take advantage of people’s willingness.
- Customers are looking more carefully for things like service and reliability. Use lean to start improving what you can delivery to customers and you will win some loyalty that you can carry into the future (assuming you don’t blow it).
- There is a ton of lean talent out there. People with experience, people with skill, people with knowledge – and they’re underutilized. Get the help you need and get going.