The Business Case for Lean
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

An organization with a well-developed Lean management system in place is highly responsive to change. The Lean management system has four key components.

  1. Strategy Deployment by which strategic decisions are made by the leadership team focusing on the organization’s long term goals, validated with those reporting up, and deployed to the front lines so that each unit on the front line has goals that support achievement of the organization-wide goals.
  2. Managing for Daily Improvement by which the front line workers and their supervisor prepare for the day, track their performance metrics, and solve problems locally every day. Problems that can’t be solved locally escalate that day to the level in the organization needed in order to be resolved, including to the CEO if appropriate.
  3. Value Stream Improvement by which teams redesign their work to remove waste (think barriers and frustrations in health care), achieving breakthrough performance improvements that lower costs, improve quality, ensure patient safety, and drive levels of patient satisfaction. These can then be spread to other sites as appropriate.
  4. Architecture & Infrastructure through which all of the above are supported and people are developed to be effective Lean leaders.

With this management approach in place, an organization can quickly:
  • react to changes in the external environment deploying new initiatives to the front lines,
  • execute on new strategic opportunities ensuring that each component of the organization is doing its part, and
  • respond to problems on the front lines efficiently and effectively.

In today’s rapidly changing uncertain environment, the ability to respond quickly to mandates, opportunities, and threats is the most powerful strategic advantage an organization can have.

Health care systems with advanced Lean management systems are some of the best performers in the country, with lower costs and higher ratings, and are regularly at the forefront of innovation.

If you would like to learn more about Lean management as a strategic advantage, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help.
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Lean Leadership: It’s Lonely at the Bottom

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Lean Leadership: It’s Lonely at the Bottom

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