The Lean Learning Center recently received an order for some lean simulations and support material from the City of Detroit. We have also learned that the city is planning to send quite a few people to our next Lean Experience class. While the Lean Learning Center has successfully worked with municipalities in the past, this begs the larger question of whether lean thinking can really help in a turnaround situation, and the answers is Yes, absolutely Yes! (As long as you don’t wait too long to get started) Applied correctly, lean thinking can dramatically lower your costs while improving your customer responsiveness.
We have successfully worked with organizations in turnaround situations before and have witnessed how lean principles and techniques can play a key role in quickly changing the direction (and life expectancy) of an organization in a tire situation. The culture change brought on by lean thinking will focus everyone on waste removal and improving efficiency throughout the organization. This can make the difference between life and death for any organization, particularly those in desperate financial situations.
Speaking to a crowd of nearly 800 business executives last month at the Motor City Casino Hotel, Mayor Mike Duggan asked for their assistance. Specifically, he said he needs leaders who are willing to come in and teach lean principles to the City of Detroit employees. “If your company has one of its core skills the ability to tear apart a core process and measure the outcome, we need your help”. The mayor was expressing the city’s renewed commitment to “fixing” itself and looking for volunteers to help them do it. Count us in mayor, we are glad to help. Now if only we can get the federal government to do the same thing?