The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same
We live in tumultuous times. We have all been taught since our earliest years that change is a constant, things change, the only constant is change, and probably many other pithy little sayings on the topic of change. With all of the focus that has been put on change it is still remarkable how difficult it is for organizations, and people, to enact and embrace change.
Part of this relates to fear. Change is stressful. It takes energy to change something. Change takes focus and effort, we must do something differently. We all know this instinctively but that does not make it easier to do. Want to lose weight? You must change your exercise or eating behavior. Want to save more for retirement? The answer lies in changing your spending or saving habits. Easy to say, tougher to do.
Many printers have learned about the concept of Lean management over the past few years. Few printers have been successful to any great degree in implementing Lean principles. The lack of success in the industry is not because Lean is difficult to understand or because Lean has not been proven to be applicable. The biggest impediment to Lean success for printers lies in a desire to implement Lean principles without being willing to undertake the change necessary for sustainable success.
Lean is not a set of tools to layer on top of how you already do business. Lean is a fundamentally different way of managing your business. Being Lean means doing things differently than you currently do. Being Lean means changing the way you do things and that is no easier than losing weight or altering your spending habits late in life.