The concept of Lean has been applied in various organizational
settings: service delivery processes, manufacturing, business
start-ups and most recently, innovation management.
This last setting, innovation management, is not a new business
concept; Peter F. Drucker wrote a classic article on the discipline
of innovation almost thirty years ago (republished in Harvard Business Review in 1998).
But the application of Lean to innovation management is fairly
recent, responding to the fact that few organizations today have
enough time and resources to invest in rigorous development and
testing of new products and services. Lean innovation management
helps to answer the question that MNP clients face every day: How
can we innovate and grow quickly at a lower cost and with fewer
Building a Lean innovative organization
To relentlessly control costs while achieving the imperative of
growth, MNP's systematic Lean Innovation Discipline approach
focuses on four key ways companies can build Lean innovative
organizations on a sustainable basis:
Promote a culture that encourages the open mindset required to
question the current state of your business and the products and
services you offer. Place 'disrupting' minds and people in
each area of your business.
Create a business model that aligns all aspects of your
organization (processes, people, strategy, technology and
organization) with your customers' needs and continuously
eliminates waste and unnecessary work. Answer the following
questions: Are we doing the right things and are we doing things
Deliver innovation more quickly by developing the ability to
work with people inside and outside company borders using a defined
set of processes.
Listen to customers' ideas, suggestions and pain points.
Value-creation opportunities migrate as a market becomes more
refined or fragmented and as customer needs change and become more
elusive. To be successful in this volatile environment, businesses
must adopt a customer-centric mindset, relinquishing outdated ideas
and instead observing and evaluating actual customer behaviour and
feedback in new and inventive ways. Dedicate resources for key
product or service families who can cross organizational boundaries
all along the value chain—from idea generation to the
commercialization of new products and services—to respond to
the voice of the customer.
Being Lean means being selective
Companies must define the most effective innovation strategy by
deciding how to place their bets:
Select breakthrough, replacement or responsive innovation to
disrupt current players and delight your customers.
Make changes that are essential to the product, customer
experience, processes and business models by being Lean, not mean.
Don't overshoot your products and / or services. Simplicity is
Choose when to rely on the existing cultural configuration and
resources and when to introduce new cultural dimensions.
Never be satisfied
The lifespan of any marketing, organizational, production or
sales system is necessarily limited. To survive, thrive and
innovate, businesses must be able to determine how well these
systems are performing and how they compare to the performance
standard. They must understand when the limits of a particular
system will be reached in order to plan for discontinuities /
disruption and come up with new products and services while using
the Lean methodology and tools to grow.
With today's fast-moving business pace, there is no time to
develop long and tedious plans and perform exhaustive market
analysis to support innovation. Adopting a Lean innovation approach
will put you in close touch with your customers and quickly impact
your bottom line.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Law Society of British Columbia’s Cloud Computing Working Group issued its Final Report on Cloud Computing on January 27, 2012, amending an earlier consultation report approved by the "Benchers" on July 15, 2011.
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