Lean and systems thinking rapid improvement events
We find that there is nothing so impactful (more powerful than training, presentations and discussions) as actually delivering lean initiatives. To a large extent, the majority of the learning and understanding comes from practically ‘doing it’.
In other words:
‘It is easier to act your way into a new way of working and thinking, than to think your way into a new way of acting’ (Richard Pascale)
A clear differentiating factor in our approach to rapid improvement activities is that we don’t organise these as stand-alone initiatives, but as an integral part of a wider organisational transformation. In concrete terms, this means:
1) Going beyond the improvements, making the practical link with whole systems thinking, e.g. starting from purpose and demand – with many stakeholders involved (the whole system). Some jump straight into ‘process’ – and stay there. We work in context and because we understand that lean is not only about process, it is about the whole system.
2) We see the rapid improvement as an organisational change intervention and maximise the impact of this. Again, rather than focusing narrowly on technical change, we design or events as people change interventions at the same time. The organisational change impact of the improvement activity is wider than the service in focus itself. It can help to develop a stronger management understanding, ability to support and deliver transformation, and influence much wider group of stakeholders.
3) Rapid improvement activities are also a powerful learning mechanism for employees, especially linked with overall briefing/training. This helps to transfer the knowledge and skills to your own employees, who can then help to drive change and execute future lean transformation.
Through a series of workshops, we take a cross-functional team through an accelerated version of the service review, analysing demand, need, process and change opportunities and delivering intensive lean/systems thinking training in two days to 16 staff members, then prototyping change with an intensive two-week activity.