Volume 1 / Issue 4 / May 9, 2016
The lean enterprise knows how to fosterand respond to creativity.
Lean people know how to analyze problems, apply critical thinking processes, and analysis techniques. They understand the systems engineering approach to the development of solutions so their changes fit into the overall enterprise processes. People need to know how to think in new ways, how to develop creative responses to new demands, and how to be productively creative in applying lean tools.
As a lean enterprise empowers its people to eliminate waste as it is identified, to invent new processes and even new products as needs are identified, it will rely on the creativity of its people as never before. It can no longer be the job of just the engineers or staff experts to improve product and process. Improvement becomes the job of every one and lean people will have to be trained to be able to respond.
The first part of developing creative solutions is to understand the issues. Lean people are well versed in the classic analysis tools like Paraeto charts, fishbone diagrams, and control charts. They also are experienced in group brainstorming, and individual creative thinking techniques like mind mapping. Once the issue is understood at the level of facts and data, then we can invent creative solutions.
Lean people know about barriers to creative thinking, how to overcome them and the four roles of the creative thinker: explorer, artist, judge, and warrior. Lean people understand different thinking styles and when to apply them.
Source: AFEE Manufacturing Consortium Weekly Update, October 10, 2005