What does Lean have to do with football?
It's all the same.
Football teams begin training camp with the fundamentals: blocking & tackling.
Lean does the same -- we begin with Standards & Stability.
Good NFL coaches consider variations on standard plays -- only after the team has internalized the basics.
In Lean transformations, too often people jump to advanced Lean concepts without a deep understanding of Standards & Stability. True mastery takes years of practice & reflection. Leaders who put in the effort send a powerful message to their teams. ("I'm a student too. I'm in this for the long term. Let's learn together...")
A few years ago I had the pleasure of sharing a plane with the Green Bay Packers coaching staff. (I sat between James Campen, Offensive Line coach, and Lionel Aldridge, Defensive Secondary coach. Good, smart, cordial guys.)
I asked plenty of questions about their work. They asked plenty of questions about Lean. I was struck by the similarities. In fact, Lean fundamentals like visual management, 5 S and standardized work are "normal" in the NFL. You can't compete without them.
Advanced Lean activities like Strategy Deployment are also normal.
More on that in later posts.