Each year or so we find a common challenge seems to stand out that companies pursuing lean are wrestling with to drive their performance. It continues for a time period as the general aspect to be solved for several companies in the lean community, immersed in it’s learning, and sharing our progress across industries to learn from each other.
Executing through this ‘theme’ as it unfolds maintains our evolution with business practices as they evolve;
(and further away from the outdated MBA/conventional practices most gravitate to,
who hope to gain a different competitive advantage by using the same thinking as everyone else.
Conventional companies following this “1950's thinking” experience a predictable cyclical decline years later (or sooner), and all wrestle with ‘cost cutting’ practices they pursue which don't address the core problem they have).
Around 8 years ago we found it was senior managements requirement to lead their lean growth strategy.
In the last few years it was lean product & process development to drive revenue - we focused on establishing cadence doubling new product introductions with our companies.
This year it seems to be
"what problem do I have in my product development process?"
(whatever that may be, some realizing for the 1st time what they did actually was a process - however they cobbled it together);
and now further upstream "what is the problem I need to solve in sales?"