What is Lean Business
Lean business is an applied philosophy made most famous by Toyota's Production Systems; also known as Just In Time Delivery. The essence of the methodology is to understand and practice how a business can prosper with the least amount of effort for the most effective results. Funnily enough for business managers the path taken to profiteering isn't always the least resistant nor the least in length. A good example is the MBA - Masters of Business Administration. Many supposed prestigious business administrators have earned their stripes by doing years of study but does that make them most profitable? Or does an MBA make a great leader? Not necessarily - it makes you a great business administrator. And yet I bet that 80% of their profit came from 20% of their knowledge!! That's a confident bet and i'll back it with introducing the Pareto Principle - more commonly known as the 80-20 rule. Whereby 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers etc. etc.
The importance in the example is not knowing a statistic Principle, it's knowing that the best thing you can you do for your business is who are the most important customers and what is the most relevant actions I can take.
Let me say that another way. Being lean is about;
- eliminating waste - after a while businesses hoard leftovers, 'just in case', misdirections - let go
- be real about situations - data is apolitical and besides isn't it time to cut the ego comforting
- focus on what is relevant - is this marketing targeting the perfect customer or are we firing blind
- always look for efficiency & streamline systems - check Ikea or BMW factories, they are absolutely beautiful processes and environments
Besides practicing 'smart business' not 'traditional business' on the personal and human side you deserve to save time in your life by asking yourself "is this the best thing I can be doing for myself today?"
Start thinking Lean in your strategies, your positioning and your delivery and subsequent agile practices such a product innovation and scrum will be adopted in an evolutionary manner with less resistance than in lethargic administrative organisations.