Should you rely on methods experts for improvement?

Getting improvement work out of the hands of narrow experts.

Published on 15 October 2016 by Isaak Tsalicoglou.

With an objective to create lasting business impact, can an organization really rely on pure specialists, internal or external?


Is that the path to success? I don’t think so. This position paper explores three reasons behind this view, with a focus on Lean.

It explains why Lean can't be treated as a separate issue of narrow expert focus, why paradoxically deemphasizing Lean helps with its adoption, and why Lean training and consulting are of limited impact.

Furthermore, it presents and explains five suggestions for evolving the current separate focus on Lean and integrating across business activities. These concern establishing accountability, discussing gaps openly, going beyond the "Lean office", emphasizing human and business understanding instead of Lean expertise, and expecting and incentivizing Lean behaviors from paragons.