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Beyond Lean

So far I have painted a picture of how your organization may look different having adopted the thinking of lean systems. How one goes about teaching and learning about lean systems depends upon the current condition of the organization, considering such factors as its history, culture, skills and needs. Many companies have tried mimicry, specifically mimicry of Toyota, and that can work to a point, although it can also lead to disaster. You can’t learn, or win, by mimicking others unless everything about your companies is exactly the same. Since it never is the same, we have no other choice than to learn and work hard at transforming our organizations given our unique current realities. That’s the bad news. The good news is that learning and teaching principles and rules and putting them into practice can get you where you need to go. Therefore, pick an approach and get started, remembering to pay attention to what you’re learning. Integrating the principles and rules of lean systems with the necessary tools and actions to improve your current reality will ensure that you are always two steps closer to the ideal state than your competitors.

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