Lean can be effectively applied at any scale of time or space. Action implemented in a span of one minute or one decade. A system coordinated between five cells or five countries. The incredible power of lean is the power of scale. It’s also an incredible weakness.
The best human achievements start with a seemingly unachievable ambition. The gap between the start and success in achieving that ambition is closed with time, effort, luck, resources, knowledge, creativity, and more luck. But those effects don’t magically combine into a recipe for success. First, there had to be a vision of the ambition, of possibility. Ambition is that light in the distance creating the required motivation to apply and combine all of these things. In short, no ambition = no action. Or at least no inspired action.
You can set your ambition to achieve an 80% reduction in inventory with no change to your on-time delivery performance, achieve it, wash your hands, and walk away. Payback one year. Lean is a system that will help you achieve that ambition and the value to match.
Alternatively, you could set your ambition to build an operating and management system that will grow the value of your company by $100 billion. You can then keep applying that system every day, every year, to keep producing results for your stakeholders and growing your company. Lean is a system that will help you achieve that ambition and the value to match.
Our previous article said that lean is a decision. Your ambition is also a decision. Set the right ambition and apply lean. Keep applying lean until the ambition becomes an unreachable point that pulls you to improve every day. That’s when you know you’ve started to apply the power of lean. A system that scales in pursuit of impossible goals.
What could be more fun than that?