O p e n     F l o w     

Management       Special Workshop      Lean Failure?        Tele-classes


By 'lean-flow' we fundamentally mean 'lean' in its original use, reflecting the Toyota Production System (toyoda seisan hoshiki). We are adding the term 'flow' ('lean-flow'), because 'lean' by itself is often, unfortunately, seen merely as a cost cutting exercise or technique. Moreover 'lean' (as in 'lean start-up') has recently also been appropriated by the Agile movement. While Agile, especially its focus on pleasing clients, is derived from Lean, there are fundamental differences (witness the circular vs linear movement of kanban for instance) - agile has grown out of non-routine commercial activities like software or product development, R&D and creative industries, lean primarilly deals with routine activities found in manufacturing, tranportation, healthcare, retail and many industries, where similar actions are repeated again and again.

We fully support Agile where it is appropriate, but do not claim expertise ourselves - where agile projects are involved we bring in other specialist parties to the table. By contrast we are keen on introducing Lean-flow principles in industries which have so far had little exposure to them. Lean-flow is much more than an efficient manufacturing approach. We view lean-flow as a holistic management philosophy, whose purpose it is to elevate humans and society by collaboratively attaining a smooth operational flow of products and services in organisations, while reducing waste and toxicity. Aiming for both better cost efficiency and more sustainable environment-friendly client fulfillment.

Lean-flow principles not only represent a set of tools for achieving a smooth operational flow, but are also a fundamental pan-organisational management philosophy centred around people and respect. Lean is an ecologically sustainable way of eliminating toxins and unnecessary inefficiencies, while respecting nature, humans and society.

Management       Special Workshop      Lean Failure?        Tele-classes

Can Agile principles work outside of software?

  • Are you a leader in an organisation and know you have to change, but don't know how?
  • Have you come across terms like 'Agile', 'Lean', ;'Responsive', 'B-Corp', 'Beyond Budgeting', 'Teal', 'Ulab', ..... etc., and would like to better understand them?
  • Would you like the opportunity to talk about these new approaches with peers and consider how they might relate to your organisation?

If so, this 1-day workshop is for you:


Enabling Pan-Organisational Responsiveness in a Dynamic World

1-day Learning Workshop for leaders seeking to reinvent their organisations

Why Reinvent organisations?

The world is changing fast and in uncertain complex ways. We are facing a major crises, economically, environmentally and spiritually. Many organisations are trying to reivent themselves. They know that have to change, but don't know what to change, what to change to and how. Smaller organisations appear more nimble and are embracing new ways, dramatically out-competing the bigger brothers out of the market. Others are slower to follow, too large to feel the ripples or too big to free themselves from the chains of older forms of organising.

Most leaders know at heart that something needs to change; we have to re-shape our organisations to ensure they are fit for purpose and fit for the humans who work in them. Even large corporations will eventually have to adapt to the changing demands of the world or face extinction like the dinosaurs. And there are a myriad of new methods and approaches out there. This makes it all the more confusing. Are they competiing methodologies? Are they all proven? Do they work for all types of companies? How do I go about choosing which one(s) is (are) right for us?

Lean - Agile - Responsive Lineage

Probably the most common and most well known methodsis Agile. Agile developed in the software development industry, and as most organisations have an IT department of some form, many organisations may already have some Agile capabilities in-house. Agile itself grew out of Lean, which itself grew out of Toyota Management System, famous for Just-in-time, Kaizen and PDCA problem-solving. While Lean lends itself to routine repetitive activities (like manufacturing, hospitals, transportation etc), Agile works for creative product development (software, design etc). But Agile is relevant to all forms of organisational activity, well beyond software. Responsive is an example of an approach taking lean and agile principles a step further.

Workshop Outline and Delivery:

The workshop itself will be delivered in a non-conventional way. It will apply some of the principles of new ways of working, organising and leading to new a way of learning. The workshop will thus not be run in a classical training format with a trainer at the front, giving a well polished presentation of the various methodologies, with exercises, role-plays, practice, discussions, all facilitated from the top. It will be run using some of the new co-creative methodologies being explored.

Go to the Agile Beyond Software page for more information.

Management       Special Workshop      Lean Failure?        Tele-classes


Do your operations run smoothly? Are you able to eliminate waste? How do you reduce costs? Are you able to run your business sustainably? What is blocking your workflow?

Below are group teleconference workshops (teleclasses) that we offer as part of lean-flow management training. For more detail go to workshops.


"Lean" has been around for 30 years, yet very few organisations in the West have really gained the expected results. Why? We will explore 5 areas why lean often fails or does not deliver best results:

  • Focus on technology rather than on people
  • Piecemeal introduction, poor integration
  • Counterproductive feedback systems
  • Short-termism, poor strategy implementation
  • Insufficient management commitment to lean

You will share some workplace experience with others related to lean failings, learn at least one key point or skill. The module is for those who are possibly wondering why they are not achieving what they were hoping for from lean, or who want to be aware of the potential problems and pitfalls when implementing lean.



Management       Special Workshop      Lean Failure?        Tele-classes

Below is an overview of our LEAN-FLOW MANAGMENT workshop modules:


This 5 x 1-hour module course is a basic introduction to lean, with a particular focus on how its principles could be applied in your workplace. The course is structured:

  • A-1: Overview of lean-flow systems
  • A-2: Basics of lean organisations
  • A-3: Relentless waste reduction
  • A-4: Total feedback loops
  • A-5: Empowered Problem-solving


This 10 x 1-hour module course looks at the various practical principles of lean thinking for organisations, focussing on how the principles could be applied in your workplace. The course is structured:

B-1: Total Flow Management (delivery)

  • B-11: Value Stream Mapping
  • B-12: Kanban System (Nagare Card)
  • B-13: Levelled Flow Management

B-2: Total Productivity Management (cost)

  • B-21: Standardisation
  • B-22: Workplace Productivity
  • B-23: Total Preventative Maintenance (TPM)

B-3: Total Quality Management (quality)

  • B-31: The Kaizen Way
  • B-32: Total Quality Control (TQC)

B-4: Total Service Management (people)

  • B-41: Flow Accountability
  • B-42: Circle Leadership

For more detail of the workshop, click on the links A or B (titles above). To view when the teleclasses are scheduled, go to master schedule. To take part please use the registration form for the course or module, as well as to purchase Vouchers.

It is important to note that lean is not primarily a cost-cutting exercise, but rather a way of creating client value in the most effective way. Nor is lean an isolated process or technical exercise, but rather it is a holistic way of managing, which requires as much, if not more, attention to the human side as it does to the technical side. Most of the above is technical. In order to achieve the most from the technical side it is important to consider the modules in E: Hitozukuri, and indirectly in C and D too.



What is lean-flow and why is it important?

Lean is an integrated business system and leadership philosophy involving ALL employees in pursuing to create perfect client value as and when (and only as and when) needed, with a minimum of effort (cost) and toxicity (pollution). It is driven by econonomies of time (rather than scale) in constantly and consistently pursuing the elimination of waste, variation and workflow blockage while striving to continuously improve client value. Lean is underpinned by 3 basic principles, the 3 Ps.

  • PURPOSE: Common aim
  • PROCESS: Value stream
  • PEOPLE: Total engagement

While lean was originally conceived as a cost-reduction exercise, and as as such is still relevant today, its relentless drive to eliminate waste makes it even more relevant in our times of environmental concerns and sustainability. The mother of all wastes, according to Seiiji Toyoda, is overproduction - this is not only relevant to costs, but more importantly to reducing disposal of toxins and wasted materials into our environment.

One of the distinctive features of a lean organisation is that it pays more attention to its horizontal flow (workflow, feedback loops), so across the organisaion, than to its vertical flow (deparmental flow) up and down the organisation. This enables the organisation to be centred around clients at the end of the horizontal flow much more effectively.

Lean is important because it better serves clients and the common good, while at same time minimising waste and toxicity. From communication and work flow to cash flow - lean has been described by practitioners the most effective wealth-creating approach ever, and it does so in a highly sustainable way.

Value Stream Gemba Walk


The importance of Lean Accounting


Reflections on 25 years of Lean


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If you have any question or would like to discuss anything raised, please give us a call or send us an email.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7117 8648  OR  EMAIL  US

Inspiring organisations to be more innovative, engaging hearts and minds holistically, and to create great client & community value with the least effort, cost and harm to ecology
Tel: (+44) 020 7117 8648
email: info@open2flow.co.uk
Fax: (+44) 070 9286 3755

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