Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lean, Competition, and the Bear Story

In lean and in business much is often said about growing and improving our organizations so that our competitors will not steal our jobs. This is especially true during these times of global recession. With our recent economic downturn there are more supply lines then there are. All organizations, markets, and industries are and will be affected by this.

Of course, I think those companies practicing lean and innovating new products have a better chance to minimize their exposure during this downturn period and be positioned to capitalize on growth on the upside.

Companies need to remind themselves of The Bear Story:

Two friends went camping in the north woods. In the middle of the night they were awakened by the sound of a bear outside their tent. One friend was busy panicking when he looked over to see his buddy calmly lacing up his running shoes.

“Why are you doing that, you fool? Everyone knows you can’t outrun a bear!”

His friend looked at him and said, “I don’t need to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”

This simple story illustrates a strategy many organization practice especially important during times of recession. We need to execute better than our competitors or our customers will go somewhere else. The company that handles the recession better, responds better, treats its customers better, and executes better is the company that will lead the way out of the recession by taking market share from its peers.

As you work on new product development and operational excellence through Lean share the Bear Story so others truly understand why this is so important.

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