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WHAT IS LEAN ABOUT?

The Kata SlideShare for January presents some thoughts (and video) as we in the Lean community mark the 25th Anniversary of the introduction of Lean as a paradigm in 'The Machine that Changed the World.' There have been many definitions of Lean, but the cool idea of "Humans striving to better flow value to a customer" is a mindset that perhaps underlies all of them.

By Mike Rother & Jeff Liker | January 2015
by Jair Reitsma | January 2015

This one kept me up for a good part of the night, since I saw it yesterday for the first time.  I agree with the First Definition.  The deck does an excellent job at explaining the interpretation of the words and the intent of the authors.  However, I think we run the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past, unless we build on this concept and also define what the Further Definition is.  I'll attempt to explain my point of view.  

It is arguably true that the Lean community and scores of organizations across the world are in a somewhat "permanent struggle" to implement Lean.  That is not intended as pun, but more as a reminder that we now know the Toyota Way is clearly not about tools, techniques, or a few great problem solvers.  You could continue to take the First Definition and in your execution, look only at tools, techniques, and having Lean done by a few.  That is another interpretation and dictionary definition of "struggle."

It's very helpful and necessary to define what Lean is about.  What is equally helpful in my mind is to take the next step and tell people how they should do it.  To be explicit, using IK/CK.  Exactly, the work that the Kata community has been doing.  I think we should continue the dialog and help people experience what that could look like.  I'll put a plug in for the Kata Summit.  I am fortunate to be learning more about how to do this better each day.  I hope we all can.

Kata Contributors
Gerardo Aulinger
Barb Bouche
Elizabeth Carrington
William Costantino
Jeremiah Davis
Tyler Fife
Richard Fleming
Håkan Forss
Dennis Gawlik
Richard Green
Craig Kennedy
Jeffrey Liker
Drew Locher
Michael Lombard
Constantin May
Kyle Muramatsu
Tyson Ortiz
Stuart Powell
Tadas Puksta
Nicole Purrier
Mark Rosenthal
Mike Rother
Meryl Runion
Tilo Schwarz
Karsten Seydel
Julie Simmons
Alex Thomason
Jeffrey Uitenbroek
Emiel van Est
Tony Webster
Todd Weston