Friday, November 5, 2010

More on Lean Thinking and the NFL

Hi all,

Pascal reporting from beautiful Copenhagen. I've just spent a couple of fine days with my friends and colleagues at Dansk Industri.

Thought I'd build in our earlier themes of Lean Thinking and the NFL. I had the pleasure a few years ago of sharing an airplane with the coaching staff of the Green Bay Packers. I sat between James Campen and Lionel Aldridge, great fellows who shared many insights into their work. I explained the Lean system and was struck by how quickly they got the fundamentals.

They described their versions of standardized work, visual management, A3 thinking and so on. "Isn't that how most companies operate?", they asked.

Since then, watching NFL broadcasts, I'm struck by the simple, two-sided playbooks (often on A3 sized paper), by the use of the scientific method in analyzing and preparing for games, of standardized work in play development and practice -- and by other elements of Lean thinking that are common in the NFL.

I'm reminded again of the words of a very senior GE executive: "This is just good management..."

Obliged for your thoughts.



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