Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We continue to learn from Lean...

Amit S. Mukherjee Author of The Spider's Strategy: Creating Networks to Avert Crisis, Create Change, and Really Get Ahead published an intriguing article titled, Lessons from the Early Days of Lean in the online version of Chief Learning Officer. Mukherjee makes the connection between Lean principles and highly connected and networked organizations, stressing that new skills (I suggest learning and innovating Edgility) are needed to compete in this ecosystem.

He states that, "We must help managers supplement planning and execution capabilities with new ones for sensing, responding and learning." These are lessons that many of us have learned from Toyota Production System (TPS) or Lean. Mukherjee asks the rhetorical question, "Sound like the changes that accompanied becoming lean?... It should."

I like the way Mukherjee connects the concepts of networks (Edge Power) and Lean principles to the importance of a culture of learning - something that has been well documented as a foundation of organizational excellence.

He also highlights the importance of connected learning, "Companies also must create the capabilities for all employees, as well as people in partner companies, to learn from each other.... Spreading knowledge quickly produces better responses, stabilizing network operations. So, the core issue is not how managers will interact with remote staff, but how all people who are not co-located will routinely interact, and not just under crisis conditions."

The culture that he describes is one where everyone works to increase their ability to learn and innovate. It demands that everyone increase their Edgility.

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