It may seem archaic, but would you believe that most companies – even those of smaller magnitude – operate under a “resistance-to-change” mentality?
Let’s try working from experience:
How many times have you heard the phrase, “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” used during a meeting? Better yet, during one established to accomplish something new.
The appropriate answer? Too many. Too often we sit back and watch an exciting (and potentially profitable) idea stagnate while moving up and down the rigid chain of authority. And you know what’s next, don’t you? By the time the idea reaches the implementation team, the original concept may be no more than a mere reflection of an existing approach.
Now try envisioning the following scenario:
An ambitious new employee on your team generates an idea on how to improve a current product. Aware that his concept will challenge all those of the past, he gathers every piece of information necessary to competitively plead his case.
- First, he identifies value in his proposition by answering whether or not the company will better suit the needs of their customers by making this change.
- Next, one-by-one he draws out every step that must be taken to achieve that end value, while simultaneously eliminating those that will get in the way.
- Now he knows it’s all about the flow. His challenge is to make the steps flow in a smooth manner, while keeping the end value his main priority.
Your newest employee just implemented the first 3 steps of the LEAN process.
”L” is for Learn with LEAN
The LEAN Process helps rid of bureaucratic matrixes, by encouraging a flow of ideas and communication, both within your organization and between you and your customers. Letting customers drive a company’s direction and growth is one of the hallmarks of the LEAN process.
But don’t be fooled…. LEAN does more than eliminate redundant positions and tasks. It is a business philosophy that seeks to offer more value to customers, while utilizing fewer resources in the process.
Additional benefits of LEAN:
- All employees are fully trained in a proper, uniform manner
- Office space is clean and encourages workflow — wasted space and overstocked supplies/parts are eliminated
- Activities failing to generate income are eliminated and replaced
Trust in the Process
If you’re imagining 12-hour work days, six times a week, you have the wrong idea. When executed properly, LEAN is all about saving time, energy, and resources. The process is built around putting the right tools and techniques to the test, and working efficiently by making smarter choices on how you spend your time. Lean functions on the mentality, “work smarter, not necessarily harder.”
A lean, less-structured work environment encourages employees to be more resourceful of their time, which often requires one to challenge the status quo.
The benefit? New ideas aren’t only generated more easily, they are appreciated, too.
Stay tuned, as our experts will soon share how LEAN can be implemented into your work environment!
In the meantime, we have some additional reading material for you in the workplace. Explore our Ethics Series with past articles featuring: The World’s Most Ethical Companies, The Culture of Ethics, Breaking Down the Basics, and Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility, and Reputation, Leadership and Innovation in Ethics, Using Analytics to Grow Your Ethics and Compliance Program, and How To: Move Your Ethics & Compliance Program to the Next Level.