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The driving force behind change

One of the thoughts that I have on a regular basis is about the structures of businesses when it comes to effective change in the workplace. Some businesses seem to get more focussed on the techniques being used than the fundamentals of running an effective business. Lean is a great example of this.

Lean has some amazing tools and methods for driving out waste in an organisation, but it relies upon people to make it happen. So lean cannot do the change on its own – it needs the leadership and support of the management to make it work. Six sigma is the same – it is a toolkit to be embraced by the organisation as it goes through its change.

The best metaphor I saw recently about this referred to Gordon Ramsay. The statement said “you have same kitchen implements as a leading chef in your kitchen at home – but this doesn’t make you into Gordon Ramsay.” The leadership and management of the organisation is what brings lean (and other improvement tools) to life.

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