It’s time to face the raw reality of Lean head-on. As a Lean practitioner or promoter, you need to confront these 10 harsh truths about Lean: 😬
1. From the start in 1988, the premise upon which Lean management rests is that top leaders want Lean management. It should have started with the premise that reflects top leaders’ historical indifference to progressive management: Most top leaders do not want Lean management. That would have significantly changed the marketing strategy.
2. Most top leaders favor the status quo and thus are very satisfied with classical management. Few have any interest in a new management system. Introducing Lean tools to solve some problems at the working level is OK, but not a new management system.
3. Classical management maximizes leaders’ status, rights, and privileges. Therefore, it continues to be strongly favored. Earlier versions have been the preferred form of organizational control since the time of ancient Egypt (and likely long before that).
4. Lean management represents a sudden break with scores of business and social traditions, and associated system of preconceptions. Most top leaders, being status quo-oriented, prefer gradual change not sudden change.
5. The business benefits of Lean are not very important to leaders compared to the many social benefits of classical management, because…
6. Classical management offers a few dozen ways to improve business results without the need for sudden change. Or, if it is sudden, it is well-known in terms of its effects because of its widespread use, and therefore no surprise.
7. Top leaders reserve the right to ignore problems or create problems (some, perhaps, to make problems less solvable so as to maintain the status quo), as they see fit. The problems Lean can solve are not important to most leaders (at least not yet).
8. “Respect for People” is mostly alien to classical management, so asking for that from top leaders can be futile.
9. Failure remains taboo in classical management, so learning is limited to that which is most likely to avoid failure.
10. Lean people are good at solving small problems, but not the really big problems (see 1-9). There’s room for improvement!
Embracing these brutal truths will prepare you for the tough road ahead in your Lean journey. It’s not for the faint-hearted but facing these realities head-on will lead to __________________ (fill in the blank).
That’s what both the research and the reality show. Click here to learn more.