Applying lean principles to management, rather than just operations, can help large organizations reimagine how they work and unlock value through continuous improvement.
February 2014 | byDavid Jacquemont
In working with large organizations, we have found that those that renew themselves all seek to execute four essential management disciplines exceptionally well. Every organization already follows these disciplines in one form or another. Accordingly, they are not a formula; they do not represent the whole universe of “good management.” But when leaders design systems that enforce these disciplines effectively—and when they ensure they’re followed every day, at every level of the organization—the disciplines reinforce one another to create what lean has long envisioned: an adaptive organization that consistently generates the most value possible for all stakeholders from all of the resources it can bring to bear….
…. The more the organization learns regarding each of the four disciplines, the more it can achieve and the faster it gets at learning and improving itself.
- Delivering value efficiently to the customer. The organization must start by understanding what customers truly value—and where, when, how, and why as well
- Enabling people to lead and contribute to their fullest potential. The organizations that get the most from their people provide them with support mechanisms so that they can truly master their work, whether at the front line or in the boardroom.
- Discovering better ways of working. As customers, competitors, and the broader economic and social context change, the whole enterprise must continually think about how today’s ways of working and managing could improve.
- Connecting strategy, goals, and meaningful purpose. Organizations that endure operate from a clear direction—a vision of what the organization is for, which in turn shapes their strategy and objectives in ways that give meaning to daily work