Generating IdeasMy friend MaryPat Cooper is a leader in implementing Lean. She has been a key leader at Wiremold, one of the Leanest of the Lean companies in the US. She's a lead reviewer in the new book Who's Counting? A Lean Accounting Business Novel. (I just got the book from Amazon today and have scanned it...written in a style like "The Goal". I'll review it here once I get through it.) She also is the first person thanked in the author's intro. Yeah, she gets it.
So, when Mary Pat speaks, I listen. Last week, she posted a great summary of how to come up with new ideas on the NWLEAN Discussion Group. You can read her entire post. Here's the part I want to highlight, though:
There are lots of flavors of this approach - "moonshining/trystorming" "3P -production preparation process" - for products, for processes - ranging from very formal and institutionalized to down/dirty/quick&simple - but they share these attributes:
10 MINUTES OF DOING is worth 10 HOURS OF PLANNING/DISCUSSING.
Trying it in cardboard is better than trying to predict it in steel.
Customer (internal and external) Criteria is paramount and must be clear and measured and expressed in company targets at the outset.
You can team up and come up with 10 ideas that fail and one that succeeds FASTER than you can engineer one project.
It is team based with constant reviews with leaders, leaders who challenge the team to "go back to the drawing board" over and over and over again WITH JOY! ! ! Joy because there is so little time, trouble and money invested in the idea development stages.
It is easily understood and highly successful in those companies that practice it in the spirit of kaizen teamwork, leadership commitment and continuous improvement (TOYOTA, BOEING, HON, WIREMOLD...to name a few...)
If you really want to get into new ideas, follow the links from Frank Patrick's recent post on the topic of new ideas.
I have to work hard to stay out of a rut. I'm guessing you do too. I hope this is helpful for "derutting" yourself.
Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me