I recently came across a seminar advertised as “Beyond Lean – Optimizing Factory Performance.” The synopsis mentions learning about “Lean-Plus” and moving “…beyond conventional Lean Manufacturing.” Huh?
Not taking anything away from the content that will be presented – I am sure it is top notch, but why do we continually feel the need to rename/rebrand/reimage concepts and ideas that we haven’t mastered to begin with? I suppose it relates to the desire to always have the latest toy or concept.
Just when Lean is starting to gain traction in industries outside of manufacturing, like healthcare, we feel the need to now say Lean is stale, and we need to move “beyond Lean.” To where? Remember, Lean is based on continuous improvement and it is much more evolutionary then revolutionary. The concepts and tools of Lean continuously evolve and improve, but it’s still Lean.
We don’t need to move beyond Lean, we simply must continue to enhance and improve the body of knowledge that is Lean. Trying to rebrand it and call it something different only confuses people, especially those in industries that are in the early stages of adoption.
And we wonder why skeptics continue to claim Lean is simply another “flavor of the month.”
We’re doing it to ourselves and we need to stop.
What do you think?