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Optimize Lean Efforts With “Outside Eyes”


Those companies who are serious about wanting to reinvent themselves according to the teachings of the creators of the Toyota Production System are well on the way to becoming the leading – and most prosperous – companies of the future.

Perhaps your company has started on the “Lean” journey, and has even had some success in achieving higher levels of performance or efficiency.  Perhaps the senior leadership team has successfully integrated “lean” methods as part of their daily activities (a vital component of success).

However, it may be that your company has not yet reached the levels it’s capable of achieving, partly because of “blinders” that we all have as a natural part of human nature.

These “blinders” cause us to continue seeing our processes in the light in which we have always seen them.  You’ve heard the adage, “they can’t see the forest for the trees.”

The January 2010 issue of “Wired Magazine” includes an article entitled Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up.  In it, the author, Jonah Lehrer, lists several interesting findings:

§       Experiments rarely tell us what we think they’re going to tell us.

§       We carefully edit our reality, searching for evidence that confirms what we already believe.

Or as Jon Miller, in his Gemba Panta Rei blog, states:  “a lesson we can take from the article is that humans innately ignore inputs that contradict or don’t fit within their world views.  As such, we need others around us to look at that same phenomena or data, ask questions and poke holes in our illusions and misconceptions.”

What Does That Mean To Your Company?

What the above information tells us is that we many times limit the scope of our improvement activities simply because we can’t see beyond our preconceptions.  While we make improvements within those boundaries, there is a much broader potential out there, just waiting to be discovered.

That’s why an “outside” set of eyes, a consultant, can be a vital resource to your company in helping you see beyond your preconceived notions, or seeing “outside the box,” or seeing other views of the “forest” – a “reality coach,” if you will – as you work to continually improve your processes.  While you may have made significant strides in process optimization, having someone from outside looking at your processes with a different paradigm can pay big additional dividends – and perhaps give you another edge over your competition.

Some of the most progressive companies with regard to Lean initiatives have extensive in-house experts and resources to support their journey.  However, most of those companies still periodically look to “outside” sensei, or consultants, to help ensure they are not overlooking additional opportunities.

The “Outside Eyes” of a consultant can be one of the most cost-effective resources you can provide in your continuous improvement arsenal.


McGan Business Solutions would be happy to be the “Outside Eyes” to support your company’s new or on-going continuous improvement efforts.  To discuss how to have another dimension added to your team’s focus,

Call David McGan at 270-823-2831

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