jeudi 5 janvier 2012

Beyond the Lean Revolution by Deborah Nightingale & Jayakanth Srinivasan - Book review

Beyond the Lean Revolution

Achieving Successful and Sustainable Enterprise Transformation

By: Deborah J. Nightingale, Jayakanth Srinivasan

Published: August 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0814417094
ISBN-13: 978-0814417096
Publisher: AMACOM

"Enterprise transformation is the taking of an enterprise from its current state to an envisioned future state, a process that requires a significant change in mindset, the adoption of a holistic view, and execution to achieve the intended transformational goals and objectives", write Professor of the Practice of Engineering Systems and Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and director of MIT’s Center for Technology Policy and Industrial Development, Deborah J. Nightingale; and Research Scientist at MIT’s Lean Advancement Initiative, Jayakanth Srinivasan, in their comprehensive and visionary book Beyond the Lean Revolution: Achieving Successful and Sustainable Enterprise Transformation. The authors describe how real and sustainable organizational change must consider the entire organization and its overall goals, and that effective change cannot be implemented successfully in a piece meal or siloed manner.

Deborah Nightingale (photo left) and Jayakanth Srinivasan recognize the importance of lean business strategies for companies, but they consider their application by business leaders to not be in concordance with the big picture. The authors consider the minimizing of resource use and the removal of waste of all types to be good business decisions. The problem, according to the authors is lack of coordination and often conflicting goals and results of utilizing the lean business techniques. The authors propose the realignment of traditional lean business practices with a holistic and overall view of the company's goals and objectives. In place of a siloed and often ad hoc approach to putting lean strategies in place, the authors recommend considering looking beyond lean to achieve lasting change within the organization.

Jayak Srinivasan (photo left) and Deborah J. Nightingale understand that companies focus on removing the waste from their organizations and budgets. While the authors consider such activities as being beneficial, they simply don't go far enough toward facilitating real and sustainable change within the company. The authors emphasize that the overall company, like any other system, is intertwined and interconnected in many and complex ways. As a result, actions taken in one department can work against the goals of another department, and even against the objectives of the entire organization.

To facilitate an overall and holistic vision of change, and to prevent the cross purposes often arising from piece meal approaches, the authors propose their seven guiding principles. Those seven principles are:

* Adopt a holistic approach to enterprise transformation
* Secure leadership commitment to drive organizational behavior
* Identify relevant stakeholders and determine their value propositions
* Focus on enterprise effectiveness before efficiency
* Address internal and external interdependencies
* Ensure stability and flow within and across the company
* Emphasize organizational learning beyond formal training programs

For me, the power of the book is how Deborah Nightingale and Jayakanth Srinivasan combine both a theoretical framework for developing a holistic framework to organizational transformation, with a practical blueprint to guide business leaders in achieving effective and long term change. The authors provide real world research and practical case studies of holistic change in action, and where enterprise wide transformation was the result.

The authors guide decision makers through the entire transformational process, picking up the threads of change where standard lean solutions leave off and break down. As demonstrated in the book, lean concepts provide an excellent starting point for beginning the change process, but they simply don't go far enough in creating lasting change within a company and its culture.

I highly recommend the very practical and lasting results oriented book Beyond the Lean Revolution: Achieving Successful and Sustainable Enterprise Transformation by Deborah Nightingale and Jayakanth Srinivasan, to any business leaders and decision makers who are seeking an enterprise wide, and big picture approach to effective organizational change. If your company has already tried, or is considering the lean approach to change, this book will take you beyond that starting point, and into the realm of lasting transformation.

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