Thinking Thursday – Why Do Some Learn Lean Faster Than Others

Thank you to those who responded to yesterday’s wiki. If you didn’t get a chance or want to expand on your thoughts please post them to the comments.

Yesterday’s wiki post:

“Why do some organizations “learn” Lean faster than others?”

The wiki is a divergent wiki. A convergent wiki is looking for 1 “correct” response to a question. A divergent wiki just asks give me all the answers you can think of for the question.

I’ve also launched a lean wiki site so please add articles and join in.


1)I’ve seen that the success of Lean in an organization is directly correlated to the commitment of upper and middle management and their progress with their personal Lean journeys.
2)My opinion is that it is the real commitment of the organisation to change its way of thinking and acting in their daily activities.

It depends a lot from the leadership that needs to support the transformation and empower their personel to do it.
Who doesn’t learn it is the organisation which tries to “buy” lean by taking some external consultants and hopes that they will to all the work. It is not going that way. Internal personel knows their work and they are usually quite passionate about it, the leaders need to know how to direct corectly that passion towards the true north for the organisation.
It requires a lot of work on their side, a lot of observing and problem solving in the small daily things, and that “unexpected” work for the leaders is usually the main reason why they don’t learn…
I could say a lot more of this argument but I leave the word to other commenters too.

3)I think that the best results are achieved with persistence.

We should not apply a methodology (like lean) waiting for immediate results or “miracles”. It doesn’t work this way.

4)We know that leaders are the key, but have not often gone beyond the “who” of problem investigation. Leaders are people and have different “whys” of reluctance about or inattention to lean. Each has a different set of motivation, influencers, personal and professional goals, and learning styles. I think we focus too much on the message and not the leader who needs to get it. If we were going to get through with talk, intellectual reasoning, and argument, it would have happened already. One thing we could arrange is more sustained peer-to-peer relationships. How could those of us in the middle facilitate that?

If you have any thoughts or additions please post them in the comments section.