Why we won’t do 100 kaizens for you
Every day is an adventure. We approach our work with clients with an extreme bias towards flexibility. We do have standard work for activities, but how we might engage a client will be different every time. And that starts with a wide range of requests. But some of them we will just say “no” to.
We get requests such as “do 2 kaizens per month in each of 12 sites for the rest of the year.” We might be requested to put 1 coach in each site full time for six months. These are request that we turn down, as lucrative as they might be. Sometimes our clients are confused by this. We might even lose the client. So why take this approach?
Because we are only as good as our reputation. And our reputation depends on our clients having long-term success. They must own the lean journey. We cannot own it for them.
We are working with one client who has had the same outside resources running kaizen events for them for 15 years. Why? Because it’s easier to let someone else do it. Because it’s easier to pick up the phone and write a check than to take it on yourself. Because it’s easier to let someone else deliver the tough message than to be the bad guy yourself.
But lean journeys are not made a success by taking the easy road. There is a right way, and an easy way. Leadership is knowing the different and making the right choice. And we won’t be an enabler to bad leadership.