Sachi Fujii-Bautista – Business Services sector lead
National income data just published shows that the economy has been worse that we thought for the past 3 years – in particular the recession has been deeper.
Although we have turned back to growth, it is slow, and the fiscal squeeze is expected to limit growth substantially in 2010/11.
Many organisations have already played out major cost cutting initiatives during the pain of 2008 and 2009, often turning to lean toolkits to solve their problems. What should they do next to ensure survival and growth during a further couple of tough years ahead?
A new approach is required - one which re-examines all aspects of an operation and makes the best use of the synergy of teams.
Even the simplest administrative task, such as managing the workforce rota during the holiday periods, can become very chaotic, inefficient and wasteful, and hence provides an opportunity to further cut costs. Through empowering your workforce to see these inefficiencies and applying simple but powerful proven techniques, dramatic changes can be delivered - and we have seen productivity doubled, then tripled.
What made a difference? The use of powerful tools in the lean toolset? Yes, but not this entirely. The synergy amongst the team members who had a new clear understand of what is generating value, and what is wasteful and can be removed from their organisation made a significant difference.
Attributes of lean organisations best positioned to do well in the tough years ahead include:
"Lean” does come with its toolkits to solve problems, but to benefit from the full potential that “Lean” can bring to an organisation, and sustain these gains, it is the combination of “Lean leadership” and “Lean employee engagement” that will truly unlock the potential of your organisation.
- A clear long term goal shared by the people (knowing the destination),
- A real understanding of their customers (what is valued),
- A willingness to challenge the status quo relentlessly and continually pursuing the better (continuous improvement),
- The ability to think outside the box (innovative and creative),
- A supportive, sharing and empowering environment (power of the team).
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