Most applications of Lean Thinking or Six Sigma assume there is a ‘perfect state’ for each organisational process and that the current state deviates from it due to inefficiencies and waste.
This normally means that in order to improve, we have to focus on identifying gaps between the perfect state and the current state, find the root causes for the gaps and implement solutions. All in the hope of achieving sustainable improvement. At best, we will move from ‘non good’ to ‘good’.
A strength-based approach has a different focus – instead of placing all of our attention on what is broken or inefficient, we find what is already efficient and generates value. We understand it in detail, find what enables it and in what ways we can expand it or built on what works. This approach enables a ‘growth mindset’ and new ideas to emerge quickly as well as raises the level of engagement and energy.
David Shaked’s new book titled ‘Strength-based Lean Six Sigma: Building Positive and Engaging Business Improvement’ is now out across Europe. Available in the US from Nov 28th 2013.
The book is the first book to create bridges and combine the best of both the strengths and the deficit worlds in the drive for greater efficiency, by combining Appreciative Inquiry (and other strength-based approaches), with the leading approaches to efficiency and quality improvement (Lean Thinking and Six Sigma – normally practised with a deficit-focus). The book contains principles, fresh ideas, stories (David’s and others) and useful tools.
David’s hope for this book is that it helps enthusiasts of strength-based approaches to change, to expand the community of Strength-based practitioners and followers by creating inroads with organizations and people who are keen followers of Lean Thinking and Six Sigma! On the other hand, if you are a Lean Six Sigma practitioner, you will find fresh, energising and more engaging ways to practise these approaches.
You can now be pre-order the book directly from the publisher (with a special launch discount) using the details in the following flyer:
It may also be available via other Amazon sites or other online/off line retailers of your preference. You can search it using the book title or the ISBN number which is: 0749469501. An e-book version (e.g. for Kindle/iPad) is also available
All comments, reviews and questions are welcome and feel free to share the news about this book with your network.
One of the most common Lean Thinking tools is the “Waste Walk”. Here, participants in an improvement workshop (often called a Kaizen event) are asked to follow a process as it is executed (or follow it on a process map) and identify all sources of waste. Waste is broadly defined as any activity that adds costs or complexity and not value to the products or services that the company offers to its customers. The search for waste in processes follows the seven types of waste as defined in Lean Thinking: Continue reading →
David Shaked has recently published an article in the Feb 2010 Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner magazine. In the article, David shares his personal journey which starts with learning deficit-based problems solving methodologies and continues to the discovery of Appreciative Inquiry and its implications for his work and personal life. This article explores his inner and outer worlds, the powerful questions he faced and the great outcomes these questions led to. It also proposes a way to bridge deficit-based and strength-based methodologies to reach a potentially powerful and positive result.
David Shaked and Susan Donnan brought together a rich selection of articles in this relatively unexplored area. The articles described the outcomes and results of using AI in different and sometimes challenging situations with small and large businesses. Some of the articles propose new models such as ‘Double-Loop 5D-AI process’ and ‘Appreciative Auditing’. David Shaked also wrote an article for this edition describing how metrics, scorecards and performance reviews can be upgraded by applying an appreciative, strength-based approach.
Years of practising business process re-engineering and Lean Thinking have taught me many lessons. Most of the improvement workshops, workout sessions and Kaizen events I have led or participated in have focused on two key objectives Continue reading →