Like most of you, I have a full stack of emails coming in every day and it’s a chore to filter them out and pay attention to the most important messages. But I am always pleased to get a newsletter from Dan Jones because I know it will contain some real substance about lean companies and lean thinking. I also know that he will stretch my thinking and challenge me personally.
The newsletter that came today spoke about lean as a scientific process that is rigorously addressed by everybody in the company. According to Dan, “this entails a very different transformation process than the traditional expert-led training and consulting model.” He further asserts that “the underlying purpose of lean is the systematic use of the scientific approach by every employee every day. This is what Toyota means when they say “we make people before we make cars”.
“This raises new challenges for managers used to hiring experts to solve problems for them and it challenges lean folk who are drawn to “professionalising” and “certifying” their knowledge of lean tools. Lean practice evolves through carrying line responsibility and through coaching and mentoring the capabilities of employees. What is common is the scientific thought process that can bring different perspectives to very specific business situations.” It is this “learning by doing” at a grass roots level that is fundamental to the scientific approach.
Now … is this new to me? No, of course not. But how many companies do you know that really take this seriously, and take this to heart. If they did – it would transform everything.
Here’s a link to the video of Dan Jones discussing these issues. Science & Lean Transformation
Take a listen. This is important.