We hear it so often. “If we can’t make a profit, how can we operate?” While that may be true, the overarching question might be “If we don’t serve value, how can we operate?”
Let’s take a look the reasons organizations matter; the 4 P’s. People, Purpose, Principle, and Process. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. Together, they form the basis of the mind-set necessary for continuous LEAN transformation. Quality Products and Profits become the natural offshoot of this LEAN mind-set. Lean practitioners call sometimes call this the LEAN house.
The first question is “How might we develop people in terms of capability and customer focus.” This is an important question in terms of building a culture of continuous improvement. We need to be clear on this one when developing relationships with the most important people, customers. This question requires deep diving! Clearly, the leadership team needs to develop as well. The questions for the leadership team are “What leadership qualities and management systems are required?” and “How will we develop those capabilities?”
The second question is “What is our purpose?” Arriving at exactly why we do what we do is a central driver. Asking how we drive value to the customer requires situational awareness. It becomes our True North.
Third question; “What principles drive our business?” The overarching ethics must be clear. This question drives the culture. Thought processes need to align with the ethics.
Balancing the 4 P’s is the real challenge faced by organizations. Metrics, including profit metrics, are the measurement tools we use to evaluate and adjust the 4 P’s. Metrics are important outcomes, but shouldn’t be our main drivers
So make balancing People, Purpose, Principle and Process central to your business model. Doing so is decidedly Relationship Oriented, not Transaction Driven.