Posted by: productivityinc | July 10, 2014

Linking Lean and Top-Line Growth

thumb_improvementAny company that has experienced success with lean knows its power as a key force in systematic, long-term, organization-wide operational improvement. But understanding that lean approaches can support and facilitate systemic innovation requires a mindset change for many executives. Most have encountered lean in the context of the manufacturing shop floor, where eliminating wait time, excess inventory, and other wastes draws the spotlight. Waste-elimination is at the heart of lean, but lean practices can also enhance innovative, game-changing strategies and the creation of new value in at least five important ways:

  1. By implementing standardized work in processes across an enterprise, senior leadership and associates can stop firefighting and gain time and resources needed for developing and implementing next-generation strategies.
  2. Through lean practices, more collaborative and creative relationships emerge with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders throughout the value chain. These relationships can lay the groundwork for developing a deeper understanding of customers’ “jobs to be done” and lead to breakthrough concepts.
  3. When lean methodologies are applied in new product and process development, cross-functional initiatives, and external partnerships, the resulting performance improvements support profitable top-line growth.
  4. As empowered associates gain experience and confidence in their continuous improvement capabilities, innovative solutions and suggestions surface throughout the organization. When these are managed effectively, the company gains value creation momentum and competitive traction.
  5. The “beginner’s mind” of learning from experience—including mistakes—trumps traditional approaches, opening the door to incremental and breakthrough innovation while fueling market leadership.

To read more about the subject, download our white paper Linking Lean with Top-Line Growth

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