Too often I see clients leveraging Lean practices primarily for cost reduction, long-term.

In the early days of Lean adoption, we do see quite a bit of opportunity to reduce costs.  The risk is staying in the cost reduction mode long-term.

The real beauty of Lean is the leadership platform that it enables.   Objective decisions based on solid understanding of economic trade-offs are the key to growing the organization responsibly.

Let’s not forget to leverage Lean Strategically?  If we grow responsibly, we should have a smaller capacity surplus, reducing the urgency and the size of any justifiable cost reduction efforts.

Ultimately, we need just enough capacity to maximize the value we can offer to customers, based on our near-term strategy (6 months to 12 months out).   Ideally, we can mature our organization to be able to flex with the demands of the long-term market, by becoming much more proactive in how we influence solution innovations for the market.   Skill enrichment of retained teams should prevail over team recomposition and layoffs.

Let’s remember that Practices exist to ensure we establish and maintain a unified Mindset around our purpose for existing as an organization, AND how ‘we’ agree to fulfill the needs of customers.  Mindset changes over longer periods of time in response to short-term events.

Shouldn’t we be intentional about the adjustments we make and how we communicate through that?