mckinsey_leanBREAKING NEWS: Global management consulting firm McKinsey&Company finally recognizes Lean as a management system that applies to any organization in any industry. It turns out Lean isn’t just a manufacturing thing! The next frontier for Lean is to manage the entire life cycle of a product, just as Frank George Woollard, the great pioneer of progressive management, said in 1925. Click on the image to read this stunning breakthrough, billed as McKinsey&Company’s “Latest Thinking.”

OK, enough with the history lesson (and, admittedly, a touch of sarcasm).

The big news is that McKinsey&Company seems to have advanced past Fake Lean (“Continuous Improvement” principle) towards Real Lean (“Continuous Improvement” and “Respect for People” principles) in their practice – though they don’t come out and say it directly in that way (but a former Toyota executive does). This is a fabulous improvement that will help propel Lean management forward. You can read about their current view of Lean management in a 164 page compendium (Disclosure: I did a few rounds of Lean leadership training with the Swedish Migration Board beginning in 2011).

While continuous improvement is still largely seen by McKinsey&Company as the focus of Lean management, the realization may soon strike that it is enabled by the “Respect for People” principle. Only then will the final frontiers of Lean management become reality.

Come on McKinsey&Company! Don’t let another 89 years go by. I’m waiting for you.

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