As social business matures, it is moving to new areas. People share ideas, and they also increasingly share products and services in what Jeremiah Owyang calls the collaborative economy. This sharing has mostly been consumer-centric (accommodation, cars, loans) with fairly few corporate sharing models (coworking is one). However, there is no reason why this model could not work in manufacturing as well, and as a matter of fact there are already some precursors from which a full-fledged collaborative manufacturing model can grow.
Coworking is a form of work where people share a working environment without being employed by the same company. The idea originated in the USA, where the first coworking locations were opened in 2005. The most common coworking operation model is a paid membership model with personal desks for members and a limited number of drop-in seats available on an hourly rate for other people.
Seats2meet.com started in coworking in the Netherlands in 2007, and their model is somewhat different from the basic coworking model in ways that place a more significant emphasis on serendipity. The story of the company is detailed in Sebastian Olma’s book The Serendipity Machine, which is really content marketing for the company, but offers a number of great insights, so it is content marketing done right. In this post, I will examine the insights that can be extracted from the book from a Lean social business point of view.
Lean is much more than a toolkit, it is a philosophy. This fact is often repeated in many Lean books, but it is rare for those books to go deep into the value base of Lean, to reduce Lean to its bare core, and to build it back from there. Yet, that is exactly what I want to do now.
There is one rather simple question about values that is at the core of Lean. Your answer to this question determines for the most part whether Lean is for you or not.
A children’s traffic park is a park where children ride pedal-powered cars on roads and operate according to traffic laws. I have been to quite a few such parks, but it was my recent visit to one in Pori that really opened my eyes to the vices of batch production.
You see, I have hardly ever had to queue in a traffic park. However, in two attempts at Pori’s traffic park on different days, my children were unable to get a ride. On the first day, the queue was 2,5 hours, and on the second day, the queue was 1,5 hours. How on earth is this even possible?
I like Lean. It is a great idea on how to get the whole enterprise on the same boat and working together in a systematic, near-scientific manner. However, at times I wonder whether Lean is keeping up with the times (which is why I am working on refining my ideas on Lean social business), and one worrying symptom is that Lean thinkers at large have not embraced social media. This is rather surprising for an ideology that encourages large-scale participation, although a certain amount of technological skepticism and being more of a tortoise than a hare are common features in Lean and can explain this to an extent.
In this post, I will examine the state of Lean thinking on social media at the moment.
Respect for people is a central value in Lean, and it is also often misunderstood. Respect for people in Lean is more about improving each person towards perfection, and less about nice behavior. To fully understand this point, it is useful to go to the source, Taiichi Ohno, the main creator of the Toyota Production System.
There is an unfortunate side effect to being exposed to Lean thinking in large quantities: you begin to see so much waste in processes all around you. It is everywhere, and going Lean could help all these companies. That includes amusement parks!
I visited the Särkänniemi amusement park in Finland with my family today, and this is a tale of what my kaizen eyes (which are by no means perfect) saw on that trip. I will use Legoland Billund as a comparison a fair bit, as I visited that amusement park earlier this year.
First, in a recent article on gamesindustry.biz, Warren Spector argued that games industry will be legitimized if there would be regular critical analysis of games in mainstream media. He also shared his view on current games journalism, which he sees as mostly amateurish and juvenile, although with some exceptions.
Second, there is the rise of the Finnish games industry, which, according to Neogames, employed 1800 people and had an annual turnover of 250 million Euros in 2012, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 25.7% in the years 2004-2012.
Could the Finnish games journalism have something to do with the rise of the games industry?
Now that we have established that Lean and social business are at least somewhat compatible in their core, it is necessary to start looking deeper into the toolkits that have evolved from these values. In this post, I will present the basics of a Lean toolkit and also compare them to the value base of social business.
Lean has adopted a great deal of terminology from Japanese, but don’t let that intimidate you, the key terms are quite easy to learn. It can also be an advantage in that when using the Japanese term, it is clear that we are talking about the specific Lean concept and not using the word in a more general meaning.
The New York Times published an article about Amazon last week titled As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts as well as an accompanying blog post titled The Price of Amazon. These two articles, both written by David Streitfeld, convinced me that the publishing industry is failing catastrophically.
In this post, I will elaborate on how the publishing industry is failing, what does Lean at Amazon have to do with why Amazon succeeds, and why Guy Kawasaki’s and Shawn Welch’s recent book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book, should be read by most traditional publishers.