Book: Leading Lean

41wt7eJyFmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I am not impressed by this book and find it little value to what I already know. Maybe you will find it valuable if this is your first management book.

“Leading Lean: Ensuring Success and Developing a Framework for Leadership” By Jean Dahl

  • “The Lean Startup method [hypothesis-driven product development] builds
    capital-efficient companies because it allows startups [innovators in general]
    to recognize that it’s time to pivot sooner, creating less waste of time and
  • “Therefore, Lean leaders must be keenly focused on winning the hearts and
    minds of their customers by:
    * Delivering products/services your customers deem valuable
    * Serving your customers well so your organization maintains a healthy,
    ongoing relationship with them
    * Ensuring the organization stays ahead of your customers’ ever-
    changing unmet wants, needs, and/or desires, as well as competitive
    market conditions, by taking the time to truly understand what creates
    and delivers value”
  • “Organizations create and deliver value in two distinct ways:
    1. By pushing products/services out to customers, known as an inside-out
    approach, where value is defined from within the organization and
    customers have little say in the products/services that reach them.
    2. From an outside-in perspective, 3 where the organization initiates
    product/service ideation and definition by working with customers and
    asking them what ideas would be valuable to them. This process pulls
    customers’ requirements through the production system or
    development process instead of pushing products/services out to the
    market with very little customer interaction.”
  • “However, you must do everything in your power to remain acutely focused on your customers, driving the delivery of customer-centric products/services they find valuable.”
  • “Work to understand who you are and what you’re about, which all
    starts by believing in and respecting yourself. Building your self-
    awareness happens through becoming honest with yourself and making
    a concerted effort to develop an inner stillness, known
    as mindfulness (Chapter 3).”
  • “Being able to forgive yourself so that you can move on and putting
    yourself into service for the good of others are marks of a true leader
    (Chapter 4).”
  • “Tapping into your emotional intelligence to apply reason rather than
    reacting emotionally to challenging situations shows your followers
    that you respect and care about them (Chapter 3).”
  • “Develop an understanding around what it means to lead from a position
    of service; in other words, become a servant leader that works to contribute to the overall success of the organization by first and foremost serving it and those that follow you (Chapter 4).”
  • “Developing a kaizen or continuous improvement mind is a must if you
    want to inspire and transform those that follow you (Chapter 4).”
  • “Foster and exhibit a tolerance for failure as your staff learns through
    trial and error (Chapter 4).”
  • “Focus on identifying and then fulfilling the unmet wants, needs, and/or
    desires of your customer base first; this means you must identify who
    your customer is and what they consider to be valuable. Then build a
    mindful customer experience strategy (CXS) (Chapter 5) to ensure you
    understand how best to fulfill these unmet wants, needs, and/or desires.”
  • “Build products/services in increments using iterative product/service
    development methods (Chapter 7), so that you can harness the ability to
    release them out to the market with as little investment as possible to
    gauge customer reaction and acceptance sooner rather than later.”
  • “You must build the ability to respond to change into the system by understanding the importance of breaking the production/development process down into small, manageable chunks (Chapter 7), allowing you to change your mind and direction within an hour, day, week, or month. Working in this manner
    allows you to restrict your focus to the most valuable features/services that can be quickly developed and released out to the market, leaving the lesser value and lower priority features/services to be developed later, or not at all.”
  • “You must closely monitor the revenue your product/service generates so that you can understand how much you have to spend on further production/development efforts. This flips the focus from cost reduction to revenue generation, allowing you to make informed decisions about continuing to invest in, grow, and support a profitable product/service versus stopping or killing those that are underperforming or that have become obsolete (Chapter 6).”
  • “Agile is a mindset, and within a truly Agile organization that understands and embraces agility, planning becomes a big part of a quarterly cycle that repeats itself indefinitely over time. You actually do more planning using these methods— you just do it in smaller increments.”
  • “To be able to meet these expectations, cycle time—the time it takes a company to identify, develop, and deliver a new product/service to market— must drastically shrink.”
  • “Innovation
    comes from iteration—that is, by making small steps toward solving a bigger problem. Innovation comes from iteratively working to solve these problems in a team setting.”
  • “To remain relevant and employable, people understand they must continue their learning journey and will periodically, throughout their career, need additional training and reskilling and upskilling, which means retraining and reeducating yourself multiple times throughout your career (Chapter 4). Leaders must proactively develop investment strategies geared toward keeping their workforce fresh and well skilled to address disruption, foster innovation, and
    remain competitive (Chapter 5).”
  • “Agility is about creating a mindset throughout the organization that change is
    good and that it brings opportunities that may not have existed before.”
  • “Agility is achieved by embracing Lean values, principles, and methods that offer leaders a way to rapidly respond to both internal and external changing conditions in order to gain or maintain competitive advantage and deliver value to both their customers and stakeholders. In a world of rapidly changing requirements, nimble and lean companies can respond quickly to both threats and opportunities.”
  • “The levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) are just too high nowadays to lead in any other way.”
  • “Change must be modeled from the top because that’s where culture starts. A culture of change assertiveness or change aversion starts with its leaders.”
  • “If you have the right person on the right project, and they are absolutely dedicated to finding a solution—leave them alone. Tolerate their initiative and trust them.”
  • “Phase I: Unconscious Incompetence
    In this stage, ignorance is bliss—you don’t know what you don’t know, and you have no desire to change that.”
  • “Phase II: Conscious Incompetence
    Somehow, possibly through changes in yourself, your environment, your career, etc., your reality has changed, and your awareness that something is lacking has been awoken.”
  • “Phase III: Conscious Competence
    As you examine your leadership style and start to make adjustments, you become more and more aware of how others respond to you and how effective you are in leading them.”
  • “Phase IV: Unconscious Competence
    At some point in your learning curve, you no longer consciously think about how you’re going to respond to change.”
  • “In their groundbreaking book, Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create
    Wealth in Your Corporation (Free Press), Jim Womack and Dan T. Jones
    defined Lean thinking as:
    * Exploiting iterative and incremental value creation Learning through short feedback loops that encourage ingenuity and passion
    * Creating uninterrupted flow through the elimination of waste
    * Achieving uncompromised quality
    * Emphasizing the use of empirical scientific methods and measurements
    to gauge progress”
  • “Akio Toyoda believed that, regardless of your position within the company, it was everyone’s responsibility to face challenges and problems head-on and to do everything within your power to find the root cause and fix it.”
  • “Genchi genbutsu means ‘going to the source,’ or the source of truth, known
    as gemba. Problems cannot be solved by sitting in your office. To develop a
    kaizen mind, you must go to the source of a problem and see for yourself
    what’s happening. Only at the source will you be able to obtain the facts,
    build consensus, and make correct decisions on a timely basis.”
  • “I’ve found that practicing daily meditation helps ensure my breathing fills my
    body with oxygen, which helps me think and act more efficiently. Whether
    you realize it or not, your mind, body, and soul are all connected and need to
    be in alignment. Being “in touch” with yourself is very important, because it
    impacts how you function throughout your day. Emotions, mood,
    temperament: all come directly from what is going on in your body. And
    don’t kid yourself: if you are in pain or chronically stressed, it will show on
    the outside.”
  • “Take the time to reflect, and come
    up with additional questions that help you to understand who you are and
    how you relate to yourself. Also, make sure to think about the things you’ve
    learned and any insights you’ve gained. I suggest keeping a journal to record
    your findings so you can refer back to it later—this helps to facilitate
    awareness of how you respond, both mentally and physically, to different
    situations and allows you to use those insights in the pursuit of continuous
    learning and improvement.”
  • “You MUST make time for yourself! ‘Me time’ refreshes your mind and
    body. Look at your schedule and figure out when you can consistently carve
    this time out.”
  • “In Buddhism, enlightenment is achieved by letting go of those things that you
    cannot change. Once you realize that fretting over things you can’t control
    results in a lot of wasted time and energy you can never get back, you can
    begin to focus instead on what’s important—that is, the things that are right
    in front of you, in the here and now.”
  • “I know this might sound odd, but what I discovered was that I actually
    needed to slow down to move forward. My concentration and overall state of
    well-being improved, and when I would go for a run, I found myself not
    replaying the tapes of the day and beating myself up over the things I thought
    I didn’t handle well.”
  • “One of the most valuable lessons I learned through all of this was that there’s
    a right way and a wrong way to reflect on the past, and the goal is to “learn
    forward”—that is, with an eye toward my future, by not dwelling on or
    repeating the past.”
  • “Developing a bias toward action means you’re taking on the challenge of
    developing a new habit, as well as the habitual behaviors to effectively
    address the problems, situations, and issues you face in your life.”
  • “First, understand that you must plan your work and work your plan.”
  • “Then, always keep a finger on the pulse of your reality.”
  • “And finally, limit your Work in Process (WIP), and always, always
    follow through!”
  • “A great technique I’ve found to help with proactive decision making and
    problem solving is the Lean technique of the 5 Whys. Ask yourself ‘why’
    five times, and don’t accept your first answer, because it’s usually the
    superficial and most obvious one.”
  • “The point here is that you must grow your leadership abilities through constant and continuous learning throughout your life.”
  • “However, being a Lean servant leader doesn’t mean you become an indentured servant. On the contrary, it means your focus is on learning todevelop yourself, in addition to enabling those around you, through mentoring, coaching, supporting, and empowerment. Ultimately, what you’re trying to create and foster is a collaborative, supportive, empathetic, engaging, and developmental relationship with those you lead—without implying that you’re subservient to them.”
  • “Self-reflection and asking for feedback from others are two great tools to define and chart your True North.”
  • “You must look at problems as opportunities to practice continuous improvement.”
  • “Mistakes and failings offer valuable
    experiences that we can learn from and incorporate back into the process. If
    you’re not taking risks, you’re not learning and moving forward. Remember,
    the goal is to break the problem down into small, manageable chunks. And if
    you fail in one attempt to solve a problem, it doesn’t mean the end of the
    world as you know it. It just means you haven’t found the solution to the
    problem and must try again until a viable solution is found.”
  • “Identify the gap or problem that needs to be solved and make sure your team
    has the resources to solve it, and then stand back and let them have at it.”
  • “During problem solving, encourage the importance of building consensus for
    the possible solution among all the stakeholders involved, before the solution
    is implemented.”
  • “When people behave
    disrespectfully toward you, the underlying reason usually says more about
    them than it does about you. Disrespect often comes from an apathetic mind,
    which usually develops when people feel like no one cares for or respects
    them—so they treat others in this manner.”
  • “When you treat people in the manner you want to be treated, it introduces a whole new dynamic to your interactions with them.”
  • “Closely observe those who follow you, making mental notes concerning who shows the potential for leadership versus those who don’t have any aspirations or interest in leading at all (which is okay as well).”
  • “Set clear expectations for those you lead so that both you and your students can measure progress and be accountable for their self- development. One of the things I do is to give my students a challenge they must complete before our next formal touchpoint.”
  • “Your churn rate is rather easy to calculate. It’s the number of customers who
    left in the last 12 months divided by the average number of total customers
    (during the same period).”
  • “CLV represents the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend
    on your products/services over their lifetime.”
  • “NPS is an index ranging from –100 to 100 that measures the willingness of
    customers to recommend a company’s products/services to others. It’s used
    to understand and gauge a customer’s overall satisfaction level and brand
    loyalty. It’s calculated by asking customers one crucial question: “On a scale
    of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product/service to a friend or colleague?””
  • “To calculate your NPS, you simply subtract the percentage of customers who
    are detractors from the percentage who are promoters, which generates a
    score of between –100 and 100. If all of your customers scored lower than or
    equal to 6, that leads to an NPS of up to –100. If all your customers answered
    the question with a 9 or 10, then the total score would be closer to 100.”
  • “It’s best used over a period of time to gauge whether you’re trending up or down.”
  • “Finally, low NPS scores can tell you there’s a problem; however, they do little in the way of pinpointing the root causes.”
  • “Customer experience (CX) is defined as the sum total of all interactions
    across all channels your customers have with your organization.”
    “In his book The Inmates are
    Running the Asylum (Sams), Alan Cooper describes how the creation of what
    he calls ‘archetypes,’ also sometimes referred to as either customer segments
    or personas, 7 are helpful in identifying and describing common
    characteristics. These characteristics can include behaviors, tasks, goals, and
    emotions present among all potential customers that are relevant within a
    given market segment as they make purchasing decisions.”
  • “This view of your
    customer then becomes a crucial asset when undertaking efforts to develop
    and implement:
    * Branding and messaging
    * Customer market segmentation
    * Omnichannel selection strategies
    * Marketing and sales efforts
    * Omnichannel content development activities”
  • “The general rule of thumb is seven personas, plus or minus two, for any givenproduct/service.”
  • “A customer
    outcome is an achievable end state that has measurable results that can be
    observed and verified from the customer’s perspective.”
  • “Creating/revisiting your mission, vision, and value proposition
    generates alignment across the entire Lean enterprise, acting as a
    communication tool to help everyone understand what it’s about, where
    it wants to go, and what value it will deliver to its customers and for the
  • “Analyzing the competitive landscape by researching and identifying
    how your competitors are working to satisfy your customers’ wants,
    needs, and/or desires builds an understanding of how you could serve
    them better through differentiation.”
  • “Evaluating marketplace challenges and trends helps you to identify
    distinct advantages your company possesses that give you a
    competitive ‘leg up; in your marketplace.”
  • “Specific
    Is it objective?
    Are you capable of measuring progress?
    Is it realistic?
    Is it relevant enough to the organization?
    What is the timeframe for achieving it?”
  • “Tactics are management plans developed to determine how the levels will
    accomplish the identified opportunities. They can be thought of as tactical
    plans, such as project plans or to-do lists that identify the discrete steps or
    operational tasks required to achieve the completion of the opportunity,
    which is usually time-boxed within a 12-month period.”
  • “However, in contrast, Lean Startup organizations usually invert this model,
    with 10% going to core, 20% to maintaining, and 70% to new product/service
    ideas, since there’s nothing to maintain and much more to grow when
    you’re first starting out. As organizations mature, the scales tip toward
    supporting and maintaining core product/service lines, as well as enhancing
    them, which causes the allocations to shift and be more heavily weighted to
    the left.”
  • “Design thinking is a bottom-up, customer-centric problem-solving approach
    that uses human-centered design techniques to identify and design possible
    solutions that ultimately result in products/services that meet or exceed
    customer expectations. It’s not about technical feasibility—on the contrary,
    it’s acutely focused on customer usability, desirability, and putting people
  • “Observe how employees interact with each other and their customers.”
  • “Observing people as they display their emotions (or lack thereof) tells
    you a lot about how your current values work for or against the culture
    that has been established to date.”
  • “Make sure your cultural change efforts apply to the entire organization.
    No one person, department, or business unit gets a pass. Your culture
    must be consistent across the board. No exceptions. Subcultures will
    arise, but they must be consistent and in sync with your overall culture
    to ensure they do not overtake it and cause damage.”

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