OPINION - Lean people worldwide carry out improvement activities under a myriad of different circumstances, but ultimately they all struggle with the same thing: learning.
Words: Lex Schroeder, Managing Editor, The Lean Post
Global collaboration on advancing lean thinking and practice - not only an "ideal state" to work towards, but also the mission of Lean Global Network - sounds great, but isn't easy. We come from different cultures, our language for describing lean principles and ideas can be different, and we often have different motivations and needs for practicing and teaching lean. Nation to nation, region to region, generation to generation, we have different business problems and learning gaps. At the same time, as Roberto Priolo reminds us, our problems are the same.
Indeed, our challenge is how to build learning organizations (as Peter Senge has written about at length)while staying competitive and responsive to customers and community members. I'm struck by how often this learning organization concept gets missed in the lean community. It's a concept that seems to cut across those things that divide us, resonating with almost everyone. It's an idea that can unite us.
To become learning organizations, we must think and talk with each other about what this even means. Thinking together in person or online – at Planet Lean or The Lean Post, on Twitter, wherever – doesn't mean much of anything without practice, but our hope at The Lean Post is that we'll serve as a place where leading lean thinkers alongside lesser-known lean practitioners and upcoming voices can grapple with lean ideas and questions together. Not just about how to understand, teach, do, or be lean, but how we can most effectively use thinking to solve social and economic problems and building better businesses (check out Wooden Ships' story) and more responsible, resilient organizations.
The thinking we do together online informs the quality of our practice, who we practice with, and where we focus our energies.
It is in this spirit that I want to invite your contributions to The Lean Post and also your feedback. We’ve been running more than a few experiments on the Post since we launched and we’re interested in hearing from you. What content have you found valuable? What’s fallen into the category of waste or do you think could be improved? In the meantime, our team will be reading Planet Lean and listening to what other institutes and lean thinkers are doing and learning across the globe.
At Planet Lean and The Lean Post, we want to share lean learning more effectively. To do this - and to live up to the concept of learning organizations ourselves - we need your feedback, your voices, and your stories.