Based on my 18 years as VP, Lead Canadian at a Toyota Manufacturing Subsidiary, plus recent initiatives within Governments especially the Health Sector, I would say that the LEAN movement will soon grow-up:
From > "a LEAN program within an organization", .. or .. " a methodology for (only) process improvement" ..
To > All the above, PLUS to be THE enterprise-wide LEAN Management Way that will engulf all of the organization's aspirations, goals, objectives and all operations.
I.e.: LEAN will be the way to manage the entire enterprise.
It's principles etc will be deployed throughout the organization and people's morale will leap ahead. (AS IT IS at Toyota)
So, shortly, we will no longer be saying: "Hi, are you using LEAN to improve productivity and trim workforce (&/or attrition)?" .. nor : "Hi, are you using LEAN to optimize and improve processes?" LEAN Process Improvement of course will remain, sustain and then soon become ''given" as everyone - everywhere adopts the LEAN tools, tips, techniques, templates etc etc to improve processes right now .. and .. to go on forward improving forever ("improvement after improvement", or so-called 'continuous improvement'). But, LEAN will also become much more encompassing than that.
No longer will we be considering LEAN as just only an added activity that organizations use for productivity. No longer will LEAN be only cornered to specific initiatives and left outside of the total governance of an entreprise. No longer will LEAN be seen narrowly as "Oh yeah it's good stuff, but .. does not apply to Policy, Strategy, HR, Marketing, Technical and Development, et al." No more sayings like that. That view will soon be history.
Soon, not so far off, LEAN will be the engine that operates the entire spectrum of an organization.
Soon we will be saying: "Great, I see that you are using LEAN to manage the entire enterprise!" "Great, it's very interesting how you are using LEAN Management to adopt Policy and convert Strategic Thinking into Action." "I'm so glad to be on your Board of Directors - where LEAN Management is the way to manage ALL of our aspirations and goals totally"
This is the future of LEAN: LEAN Management; the LEAN enterprise / organization.
The LEAN principles are greatly human based and will all together emerge as a sort of "Business Culture"
Perhaps as my view unfolds, it may one day be called "GO LEAN" or some such title.
Anyway, that's the way it is since 20 years in Toyota and of course getting better and better.
Mike Davis http://www.mma.ca/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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