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Thinking about #Lean long term successes (or lack thereof)

May 23rd, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: ,

I think you will spend 95 seconds reading this post

Here’s an excerpt of a conversation I had through email, and some thoughts of mine on the 2% success rate of long term Lean turnovers (source of these statistics is http://www.maskell.com/lean_accounting/industry/fat_cash_flow.html, an interview of Cliff Ransom – thanks to Bryan Lund for giving me the reference!)

 

[…]It’s only when [consultants] leave that [Lean] results aren’t sustained 98% of the time. And since the company is on its own to sustain them, the consultant can safely blame the company for not continuying what they did with his/her support. I guess the companies blame themselves without the help of the consultant anyway.

Yet, I’m with the ones that think that when you sell yourself on the basis of changing the culture for one of *continuous* improvements (what Lean is about), and if the improvements are not continued once you leave, then I think it’s a failure.

I think that was Einstein that said that insanity is expecting different results by doing still the same things.

It’s true that some Lean consultants/senseïs get recurrent, exceptional and sustained results over time. Yet, when others replicate what they do, they fail nonetheless. I guess that the consultant’s work is not enough, something must be part of the environment.

When, as an organization, you approach a consultant with a long track of sustained results, you expect to succeed as well. Indeed, you *want* to succeed. Since these kind of consultants have a long waiting list, they choose who they work with, thereby increasing their success rate (they choose the most motivated clients!).

Whereas since you don’t attract the same kind of clients, you can’t expect to achieve the same rate of successes [because they aren’t as motivated as the ones going to the other consultant with a longer trail of successes].

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