Give or take a few years there is roughly a century between these two inspirational quotes on lean organisational philosophy by two titans of American and global business: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”, said Henry Ford. “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution”, said Steve Jobs.
In a nut shell – this is lean thinking.
Henry Ford, founder of his eponymous motor company, was the chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production which became the benchmark for such methods around the world. Ford’s approach was picked up by Toyota and they developed the Toyota Way which shaped the company’s approach to production, where it was an early pioneer of what would be come to be known as lean manufacturing, defined as such in the 1980s when Japanese manufacturing was outstripping the rest of the world.
The Toyota Way
One of the key principles of The Toyota Way is continuous improvement and their desire to eliminate waste. Indeed the core idea of lean is to maximise customer value while minimising waste. A lean organisation therefore understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it through a perfect value creation process.
Lean thinking has spread to every country in the world and business leaders are adapting the tools and principles beyond manufacturing, to logistics and distribution, services, retail, healthcare, construction, maintenance, and even government. Lean thinking is still on an upward curve and is seen by many as a new approach – sometimes things take time to filter through!
The Principles of Lean
Lean management principles build on each other and then begin again to create a continuous cycle of improvement when distributed to teams. There is no single definition of Lean, but there are a few concepts that guide most Lean practices in the world today. So, Lean thinking has seven Lean principles that guide Lean thinking in businesses today – optimise the whole, eliminate waste, create knowledge, build quality in, deliver fast by managing flow, defer commitment and respect people.
Asset Training’s distance learning course offers a comprehensive understanding of the concept and benefits of a lean environment, as well as knowledge of business techniques and why working in teams is essential. Our nationally recognised qualification is designed to provide individuals with an appreciation and understanding of some key principles of lean organisation management.
What you will gain from this training is a nationally recognised Level 2 qualification alongside evidence of your competency to your current and future employers. It will also serve to further your personal and professional development.
A given that this is a distance learning course – it’s ‘lean’ in practice, because not only can you learn at a time that suits you without the need to attend college, which improves efficiency and helps reduce materials and resource costs.
So, transform yourself – become leaner – and in so doing help to transform your working life and environment.