Chalk One Up For Sustainability

Delighted call yesterday from a client whose CEO had made a stand for sustainability.

The CEO had invited in a well-known consultancy for a year to drive a Lean program on a payment-for-results basis.

The Lean consulting team arrived two weeks ago and explained its methodology. They didn’t care that this organization had implemented Nimbus as a process platform at the heart of the business. They insisted that brown paper and Post-It notes would be used for all their work. Amazingly, they were so attached to this that they refused even to use the client’s paper. It had to be their brown paper.

When it was escalated to the CEO, he didn’t equivocate. He insisted that this organization’s process platform must be the alpha and the omega for the Lean program. It was, he explained to the Lean consultants, an integrated business management platform, but not in any abstract sense: it was supporting people doing real work 24/7. So it was the perfect framework to identify, design and deliver sustainable improvement projects.

What tickled my friend and led to his jubilant call was the CEO’s remark at the end of the meeting, as the consultants left the room, that if he saw brown paper being used in future, he would ‘personally escort them from the premises’.

The price of sustainable excellence is eternal vigilance. [as Jefferson might have put it… ]

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