Building the Fit Organisation

In preparation for our UK Lean Summit 2015 – Developing the Capability to Improve the Work I’ve been reading Dan Markovitz’s new book “Building the Fit Organization” which arrived in our office a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure you will have heard about or read Markovitz’s first book “A Factory of One” in which Dan applies Lean principles to the knowledge work many of us do. It is packed with insight and practical tips.

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In “Building the Fit Organization” Markovitz uses exercise and sport to explain why individuals and organizations struggle to implement Lean. “An average company trying to copy Toyota is like a couch potato who wants to start running, copying the training regimen of Haile Gabrselassie.” contends Markovitz. Instead the pursuit of physical fitness or athletic excellence rests upon:

  • Defining a goal
  • Knowing what skills are required to reach that goal
  • Acquiring those skills through coaching and practice
  • Choosing the right performance metrics to evaluate progress

In “Building the Fit Organization” Markovitz defines a fit organization as a dynamic, constantly improving, profoundly customer focused entity that delivers superior performance and results over the long haul. He argues that becoming a fit organization rests upon:

Making an unshakeable commitment to

Increase value provided by

Doing the right work (things that deliver value to the customer)

In the right way (through standard work)

With continuous monitoring of processes (through visual management systems)

And structured coaching for everyone (using the scientific method)

At our UK Lean Summit 2015 – Developing the Capability to Improve the Work, we are providing a copy of “Building the Fit Organization” to each attendee (in return for a completed feedback form from the event.) Reading is a great way to help us reflect on our own current situation but it’s even better to be able to listen, discuss and interact with others. Dan Markovitz will explore the insights from both his latest book “Building the Fit Organisation” and from “A Factory of One” and he will share the stage with two of the leading Lean authors – our own Dan Jones and John Shook and a host of people practicing Lean. I do hope you will be able to join us.

PS Dan Markovitz is also running a practical masterclass applying the insights from “A Factory of One.” We still have space remaining for this on Monday 16th November.