To do right, do the right thing: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter Drucker
That means step-by-step improvement, as the ‘right thing’ is only clear at each step based on the results of the step before. This is the language of entrepreneurs: ‘learning by doing’:
How do you turn ‘constant improvement’ into a company culture? Toyota turned this into a process and culture called “The Toyota Way”, which then inspired the ‘lean’ movement. It’s called ‘lean’ because it’s about ‘deleting’ the three “MU’s” in your company – everything that is not of direct value to your customer’s experience.
DELETE THE THREE MU’s!
“Muda” is all the ‘waste’ in your business (Toyota saved time by naming the biggest 7 wastes’: Transport, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over-production and defects).
In your business, this could be the ‘waste’ in answering emails, redesigning websites, having meetings – all the things that don’t give the customer a measurable improvement in their experience. Cut them all out!
“Mura” is ‘lumps in flow’ in your business, when you are under-capacity or over-capacity. “Mura” means “uneveness” – Like dinner guests waiting too long for the main course.
Turn all your products into ‘just-in-time’ delivery where you have smart ways to scale up and scale back based on the ‘pull’ of your customer demand instead of the ‘push’ of your own to-do-list. Get rid of your to-do-list and replace it with a not-to-do-list!
“Muri” is “overburden” which happens when you and your team are doing things in complicated or manual ways when those same things can be automated or outsourced faster, better and cheaper.
What’s the fewest number of repeatable steps to create the highest quality in your customer experience? What can you automate or outsource to be world class overnight?
Cut out Muda, Mura and Muri, and there’s just one thing left for you and your turn to focus at. Kaizen – Ongoing, never-ending improvement.
And that’s the point of your enterprise – to enable you and your team to become better versions of yourselves. Cut out all the noise so you can hear the music.
Entrepreneurship isn’t about proving yourself. It’s about improving yourself.