how to achieve more for less in an ever-changing world
In our Introductory Series to Human Factors in Business, we have explored concepts and tools from a wide variety of disciplines to support managers and leaders in developing a deeper understanding of the people component in business.
This book is picking up a particular business topic, the currently fashionable concept of ‘lean’, and provides new and old ideas in a simple, easy to understand format. We do so through the eyes of human factors in business.
If you have not already perused our Introductory Series (personality, stress, communicate and motivate), you may not get maximum benefit from this volume. We use human factors concepts throughout the text that have specific meanings and are part of models that help us to better-understand human interaction, people’s perspective on the world, their needs, individual’s responses to stress and many other facets that create the rich tapestry we call humanity.
I certainly urge you to have a look at the Introductory Series first before carrying on.
The Human Factors in Business Applied Series draws on more than one hundred years of published knowledge. When perusing our collective wisdom in print, I could not help but wonder why some themes have been picked up over the years, time and time again. Obviously, where previous thinkers have identified shortcomings and prescribed their remedies and where the business community simply has not picked up on new ideas, we can only jump to one of two conclusions: the remedy has not been simple enough to implement or the thinker has not been able to overcome the inertia of the business community.
Many concepts introduced to us as ‘lean’ over the past two decades have hardly been new. Reducing waste, refining workflows, improving communication, providing key information in a simple and understandable way without losing meaning, making information visible and tangible in a workplace for everyone, - if it is not already common sense, it has certainly been reincarnated in many guises over the last hundred years.
If you expect a ‘how to’ book on ‘lean’, you may be disappointed. If you want to reflect on tools and concepts that belong to the ‘lean’ world and may be useful for you, this is your book.
This is a ‘lean’ book about ‘lean’. I am not getting hung up about technical perfection and come from the position of being ‘broadly right rather than precisely wrong’.