1st Edition

Learning with Lean Unleashing the Potential for Sustainable Competitive Advantage

By James Zurn, Perry Mulligan Copyright 2014
    296 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    296 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    The toughest Lean journeys are those taken in organizations that have achieved long-term success. Processes and people become fixed in their ways and exhibit a natural resistance to change. But, regardless of how well your organization is performing, unless you have a sustainable competitive advantage, you are at risk.

    Examining the performance gap between good organizations and great ones, Learning with Lean: Unleashing the Potential for Sustainable Competitive Advantage explains how to use Lean as a learning vehicle for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage.

    Helping you better understand the current state of your organization, the book outlines a series of five simple phases for developing an architecture and implementation plan to transform your organization’s performance. These five phases fit neatly into a closed-system model that has similarities to the Plan-Do-Check-Act quality model. The model is simple, easy to communicate, and easy to implement—Assess, Plan, Prepare, Do, and Learn.

    • Supplies a brief overview of Lean tools
    • Provides an understanding of the Voice of the Customer as a focusing engine
    • Covers measurement and goal setting
    • Illustrates the dynamics of organizational change
    • Explains how to boost learning through Lean

    The authors guide you through the deployment of training and the implementation of new knowledge and skills around Lean. In addition, they also explain how to find and improve on the areas where waste exists so your organization can reinvent the way it learns.

    Effective management techniques recognize the need for balance, and this book is no different. Helping you pinpoint where those balances and dichotomies exist, it arms you with powerful techniques to manage these challenges and to transform your organization into a change-hungry Lean learning organization with a sustainable competitive advantage.

    What Is the Need for Change?
    What Is Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
         Applied Rate of Learning Threats
              Disruptive Organizational and Technology Threats
    Overcoming Organizational Inertia
         External Crisis Impacts to Inertia
         Creating Internal Urgency with No External Crisis
    Recognition of the Risk of Inaction
         Success Builds Inertia
         Ignoring Risks May Stall the Organization
    Lean Enables a Learning Organization
         Organizational Learning
         Learning Organization
         Lean as a Learning Vehicle
    Transformation Is an Endless Journey
         Phases in the Transformation Journey
         Phase 1: Assess
         Phase 2: Plan
         Phase 3: Prepare
         Phase 4: Do
         Phase 5: Learn
    Measuring Impact and Rate of Learning
         Change-Hungry Organization Maturity Levels
    Communicating to the Organization
         Expanded Need for Different Types of Communication
         Dichotomy of Conversation
         Audience-Based Porpoising
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Change Starts with Knowing What You Have
    Assessments Build Stronger Organizations
    Learning Atrophy
    Take Stock of Yourself
         Are You Committed to Leading the Change?
         Check Your Ability to Lead a Learning Organization
         Check Your Lean Leadership Capabilities
         Check Your Lean Thinking and Actions
         Check Your Credibility Cash Index
    Take Stock of the Organization
         Looking for the Capability to Learn
         Organizational Beliefs, Knowledge, and Ability
         Characterizing Learning Organization Dimensions
         Check for Lean Thinking and Action Competencies
         Check the Organization’s Performance Quotient
    Communicate to the Organization
         Complex Message Delivery
         Sharing the Transformation Vision
         Setting the Course of Action
         Personal Actions and Passion for Change
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Planning the Transformation
    Forming Your Personal Vision and Plan
         You Have to Buy-In
         Use Your Passion and Courage to Lead the Organization Transformation
         Visualize the End Game
         Personalize the Transformation
         Build Your Action Plan
         Walk the Talk
    Changing Organizational Culture
    Changing Organizational Momentum
    Design the Transformation to a Lean Learning Organization
         You Can’t Buy It—You Have to Build It
         Integrating Your Supply Chain into the Journey
    Lean Becomes the Learning Vehicle
         Foundation of the Organization
         Core Tenets Align the Organization
         Assemble the House
    Communicating to the Organization
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Preparing for the Race
    Set Expectations
         Define Success Goals and Measures
              Foundation Layer
              Measurement Layer
              Action Layer
    Deployment Reality
    Enroll Natural Lean Leaders
    Invest in People
    Communicating to the Organization
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Go Improve Something—Start Doing
    Go Ahead—Give It a Push
    So You Think You Know How It Works
         Entropy and Noisy Systems
              Noisy Systems
         Automation Creates Techno-Waste
    Data Will Set You Free
    Focus on Using the Voice of the Customer
         VoC Segmentation
         Customer Listening Posts
         VoC as a Focusing Engine
    Setting Simple Goals
         Work on Things That Matter.
    Keep It Simple
         One-Touch Flow
    Communicating to the Organization
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Leverage the Learnings
    Reevaluate and Refresh
    Accelerate the Applied Rate of Learning
    Leverage Learning with Lean into the Supply Chain
    Standard Work
    Clustering Thousands of Small Fires into a Forest Fire
    Reinforce Good Decision Making and Risk Taking
    Benchmark and Compare for Higher Performance
    Reinvent Work and Job Skills
    Measure and Share Progress
    Communicate and Walk the Talk
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Wrapping It Together
    Final Thoughts from the Authors
    Key Messages in This Chapter
    Challenge Actions

    Bibliography and Works Cited
    Glossary of Terms


    James Zurn (QLogic Corporation, Aliso Viejo, California, USA), Perry Mulligan (QLogic Corporation, Aliso Viejo, California, USA).