Lean Management Vs Modern Management

In the fall of 2009, at the time I started digging deeper into Enterprise 2.0 and the management principles this organization approach implied, I set up a list of 10 management principles and how it differentiates with management as we know it.

About 12 months later in November 2010, Jim Womack, co-author of The Machine that Changed the World or System Lean, wrote a piece called Lean Management Vs Modern Management where the author applies a similar approach and compare 10 key Lean Management principles with the corresponding approach in Modern Management.

This article has been written for Gemba Walks, an awesome collection of short essays #hypertextual will soon sing the praise for in a dedicated blog post.

While my original blog post may look a bit shallow and messy in retrospect, this piece spawned from the wisdom and lucidity of a master with 30 years of Gemba Walks is deeply inspiring.

I could elaborate on every single principle for about forever but I just want here to focus on number 2 : Process Vs Result. After a quarter of a century of work in the knowledge economy I tend to believe this might be the most important one : focussing more on the « How » than on the « What ».

So here they are :

  1. Responsibility Vs Authority
  2. Process Vs Results
  3. Ask Questions Vs Give Answers
  4. Experiments Vs Plans
  5. Gemba Learning Vs Formal Education
  6. Line manager and teams improve processes Vs Dedicated staff (Program Office or consultants)
  7. Fact based decisions on the Gemba Vs data based decisions in meeting rooms
  8. Line managers and staff standardize their work Vs dedicated staff (program office and line managers)
  9. Go slow to go fast Vs go fast to go slow
  10. Horizontal focus (value stream and processes) Vs vertical focus (functions)
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