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John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today

by Lean Leaper
October 2, 2014

John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today

by Lean Leaper
October 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

Editor of Planet Lean, Roberto Priolo, spoke with LEI's John Shook at the Lean Summit in São Paulo, Brazil last month. Read on for highlights from the interview.

On LEI's Lean Transformation Model

The Lean Transformation Model is intended to give people a framework they can use to design the right system for themselves... For a couple of decades now organizations have tried to and have had some success at bringing about transformation in their organizations. But many times companies get sidetracked trying to copy best practices that may not fit them exactly, so we’ve developed a model people can use to serve as a guide… We’re finding a lot of excitement around that and have high hopes for how companies might use it moving forward.”

On Lean Product and Process Development

“Lean really begins with thinking about value… That value is embodied in a product or a service. So LPPD was part of the birth of Lean when we first began talking about lean production and lean management 20 years ago. But in a lot of cases it’s found its way into the background. What’s happening now is it’s resurfacing because that is the embodiment of how we put the customer first. We ensure we’re providing value for customers. That’s the way we can provide prosperity for society and for companies as well. This re-emergence of the proper place of where product lies in this entire change I think is appropriate and timely…”

On Using Lean to Solve Systemic, Societal Problems

“Rather than starting with something very big and trying to whittle away, Lean from the beginning is about creating sustainable systems. The connection between Lean and sustainability and environmental movements, I think is very natural. And if anything, lean thinking will be the way forward for all of those different movements.” 

On Lean for "Innovation"

Innovation is one of the big buzz words… we have a problem where we often think of the big innovation manifested in a product that’s very exciting (say, for example, the original iphone or the ipad). What we sometimes forget is that every innovation is really the accumulation of small innovations that led up to that. This kind of focus can allow us to develop people and develop systems to allow for sustainable innovation… [Lean] can help ongoing innovation in organizations that can benefit customers.”

Watch the full video below for more insights from John Shook on the future of Lean as well as the current state of lean thinking and practice in Brazil. 

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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Product Focus = Customer Focus