How Lean Methodology Creates a Smoother Company
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In today’s show, Nick Scott of Traverse Tech and I discuss how you can use LEAN methodology to improve company processes.
Nick is a certified Gazelles executive coach and management consultant in Edmonton. He specializes in strategic planning, accountability, technology management, and executive team development. He has worked for over 20 years with business process development and optimization.
How to Build Better Business Processes
When Nick first began his career as consultant, he looked towards the Lean approach to help his clients succeed. He believes to improve any organization, it first has to start from the top and that’s one of the reasons why his career path lead him to coach executive teams.
Nick’s position allows him to really dig deep in a company and help improve it by figuring out the main pain point. Is this a process problem, cash flow problem, or a people problem? When the problem has been spotted, then it’s time to bring focus to the leadership team and solve it.
Any process-improvement project has to have strong support from the top of the organization or it is destined to fail. The leadership and top management team has to understand why this project is important. When looking to improve a certain process within the company, a big mistake is to give orders from the top down. To achieve the best results and improvements, leaders must lead by example.
Another mistake companies often make is when they try to copy a method that has worked for company A and apply it to their company. Companies are very diverse and copy/pasting a method into the current mold simply doesn’t work effectively.
Nick recommends the book 2 Second Lean by Paul A. Akers as a way to study more of the Lean Manufacturing methodology. He too mentions what Nick has spoken about today – if you don’t have support from the top, it will be very difficult to achieve a Lean process throughout the company.
Set realistic time frames and break the process-improvement project up in pieces or else you and your team are doomed to fail. Nick recommends to start with a pilot project and then take that next step. The team needs to understand that this is an ongoing investment within the organization and each step they invest in, they build the value of the organization.
In so many companies and situations, the current process and way of doing things is just accepted as is. This sometimes creates additional problems and instead of trying to find the root cause, companies put a temporary band-aid over the situation. It fixes the problem, however it doesn’t address the underlying issue and this delays the company’s processes even further; costing them money, time, and other resources. Remember, there’s always a better way to improve a process and that this requires a long-term investment plan.
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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher with Humanisteq Coaching and I’m one of the Gazelles business coaches. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).