Have you ruled out the use of Lean business tools and thinking without really knowing what they are?
I recently met a former colleague and we got talking his business and about how he could develop his workforce. I recommended he take a look at our Lean Business programme because I have done it myself and I knew it was ideally suited to his business. His reply:
"That's that Japanese manufacturing stuff. We wouldn't be interested in that. What else have you got?"
He told me I had lost him at the word 'lean'. He reckoned they "were lean enough as it was" and he couldn't see how "any of that six sigma stuff" applied to him.
So I went on to tell him about a programme we have that is proving so popular with participating businesses, they regularly book teams onto the next programme before the current one is finished.
"The goal of this programme", I told him, "is to create a culture of problem solving within a business so that finding ways to make things better, easier, less frustrating and more effective becomes part of everyone’s job."
'That's more like it' he said. "What's it called?"
"Lean Business", I said.
His reaction is pretty typical of many of the business owners and managers we meet. There are so many misconceptions about lean that many simply dismiss it as not relevant to their business. But why would anyone think their business wouldn't benefit from proven tools and techniques for problem solving and continuous improvement? So if that was your reaction too, maybe just stop for a minute and ask yourself, are you sure you know enough about lean to dismiss it?
ManagementWorks delivers free lean workshops throughout the year to explain the benefits of lean and to promote our subsidised Lean Business training programme. If you would like to know more about lean and what it could do for your business, book a place at one of our free lean workshops today. Or if you can't make it, get in touch and we can talk.
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Enda Hogan is a Programme Support Manager with Skillnets. Enda's primary role within the ManagementWorks team is around marketing and promotion in order to build awareness of the ManagementWorks suite of programmes. He is the editor of the monthly newsletter - Management Matters!
Enda has twenty years of management experience and has worked extensively with SMEs, training networks and membership organisations in Ireland to improve business performance through investment in training and professional development.