Any business owner or management team that is contemplating implementing lean principles needs to be clear about a few things before they start. They need to understand the three D’s:
- Discipline – The transformation process to become a lean enterprise requires a disciplined infrastructure.
- Determination – A management team must be determined to see the process through to completion. Lean transformation is a journey of discovery!
- Dedication – A management team must be dedicated to the lean transformation process and demonstrate their commitment to it everyday!
Without discipline, determination, and dedication to the vision of the future state a business will never make the transition from a re-active to a pro-active organization. What is the difference between a reactive and a proactive organization?
A reactive organization has a knee jerk approach to problem solving. The are focused on the “urgent” tasks instead of the doing the “important.” This approach forces them to spend their time correcting their problems instead of identifying and eliminating the root cause(s) to stop them re-occurring. These types of companies operate in a constant state of chaos management or by firefighting their way out of problems.
On the other hand, a proactive company is disciplined in their approach to dealing with problems. They teach their employees to understand and use problem solving tools to identify and eliminate the root cause(s). They focus their resources on dealing with the “important” and do not allow themselves to become distracted by the “urgent” issues. This type of organization incorporates lean thinking into their business culture and empower their employees by giving them the tools to improve their own workplace.