A “lean” company puts processes in place that cause them to improve. While it can be a project, it also is a way of operating. It’s a method for improvement.
I look at our company as hundreds of pieces that depend on each other for success. Every day each of us touches something that changes material into something we sell or helps people get their job done or helps us get paid or hundreds of other things.
A lean company reflects:
How did we do today?
What kept us from being better?
What can we change tomorrow that will help us be better?
Who’s in charge of making that change happen?
How will we decide if the change helped?
Sometimes we say that it was a very good day. It still leads to questions:
Why did the day go well?
How can we make sure those circumstances come together more often?
Do we have a new standard?
Did we find a new way of doing things that makes us better going forward?
We aren’t “lean” by mistake. We are “lean” on purpose. Purpose comes when teams reflect and choose paths for getting better.