Posted by: knightbird | June 25, 2015

“Lean Honors Bottom Line Over Top Line”

I have to share this quote from Karen Martin, a Lean Sensei who shared it through Twitter. I have the same beliefs but express it in a different way. I like her way. But we both seek the same results. If we dedicate our organization to a Lean Culture, we provide greater value for our customers by improving the quality of what we do and decrease the cost. We decrease the cost by Respecting our People and teaching them how to Continuously Improve what they do. This is a hard lesson for many Executives to learn.

In my Executive life, I have taken over 2 extremely dysfunctional organizations. Within a short period of time, both improved. In the first organization, I took a number of actions that intuitively improved the organization. When I learned about Lean Thinking, I backed off imposing my decisions on staff and began teaching and delegating improvement. The best results came from teaching and delegating.

In the second organization, the change was meteoric. I didn’t make decisions. Instead, I formed Executive Leadership Teams to tackle problems and issues, then started teaching them a Lean approach to problem solving. With their advice, we eliminated a $5 million budget deficit within a 4 month time frame. We saved over $100,000 on energy costs with a target of a million in savings. We filled 20 hard to fill positions in our rural health department. By the end of 4 months, we had a plan in place to generate huge additional revenues and realization of bottom line savings in the range of $20 to $30 million. We realized that the bottom line revenue gains fueled our ability to generate additional revenue.

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