Jasmeet Kohli

Friday 3 August 2018

Can Lean bring value to your business strategy?


Business Strategy aims at “Creating Value in Business” and then “Sustaining it over a period of time” till it is considered to be relevant. Many companies who fail to fine tune their business strategies as per the changing times and changing customer perceptions often become part of history. For example – Let’s make a simple comparison.
Just have a look at the names of companies listed in Dow Jones Index when it started in 1896 to the current year 2016, encompassing over 120 years of modern history. You would be astonished to see that only one company “General Electric” is still present, to this day. There had been many companies who monopolized and ruled their specific business areas but then faded into memories due to their inability to adapt to changing times and change their business strategies as per changing market conditions and customer perceptions.
What a business organization needs to survive over a longer period is to focus on “Value” in all its policies and actions, as per the strategy map prepared by the organization. Lean focuses on creating value in business processes and providing the customers the product that it needs at minimum price, without compromising on quality. How it is done is very well known that lean eliminates all the waste or Non-Value Added elements from business/production processes to remove all inefficiencies.
But sadly, many organizations just focus on the process part and utilize Lean principles only to eliminate the waste in the processes, i.e, focus just on the operational part of business. Business operations work only under the roadmap or frame-work prepared by the people who prepare the business policies and strategies on which the business runs. Leaving out Lean from this very crucial part is severely limiting its huge potential that it can bring about in the business. It is just like in the movie “Captain America” where he is seen just dancing and singing alongside pretty girls in the beginning because decision makers were not aware about his superhuman capabilities. In business arena, another example is the inability or ignorance of the Xerox of the huge potential that GUI (Graphical User Interface) had in the PC business. Although Xerox developed the GUI but Apple and Microsoft made their fortunes using it.
What is needed for business organizations to survive and thrive in business arena is to incorporate Lean Principles in their business strategies and policies. Once the focus is on value creation and free flow of value in the organization, without any hindrances and obstructions, the amount of benefits and positive outcomes that the organization will experience are simply limitless. Not only the preparation and implementation of business strategy, the results of free flow of value creation will transform the whole organization and catapult it into the bigger league where other smaller organizations will aspire to become like it one day.

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