Based in Silicon Valley, the Post-Lean Institute (PLI) is a global research and consulting firm helping corporates and private equity firms navigate, exploit and engage in disruptive innovation. We work with boards and CEOs to provide executive education, workshops and strategic advice. The foundation of our work is Post-Lean Thinking, our effort to reinvent management science for the post- industrial transition human civilization is undergoing.
Much of our management thinking has its roots in the industrial era. Some of the assumptions and ideas even go all the way back to the Bronze Age. Industrial-era management reached its height with Lean Thinking, with long-lived organizations harnessing their people for incremental innovation in return for long employee tenures. However, human civilization is now transitioning to a post-industrial era. Exponential technologies are upending our old assumptions about jobs, organizations, governance and values. We need a new management science to address these challenges and build the organizations of the future.
The mission of the Post-Lean Institute is to develop a post-industrial management science and provide leaders, organizations and investors with the tools and practices to build the future.
Our Purpose is to accelerate humanity’s transition to a post-industrial civilization.
PLI was founded by Frode Odegard in 2004 as the Lean Software Institute and later renamed to the Lean Systems Institute. Our initial mission was to reinvent Lean for modern knowledge-based organizations. We spent ten years helping corporates redesign themselves for improved innovation and execution across a range of complex and knowledge-intensive verticals. These included enterprise software, aerospace & defense, game development, medical devices, mobile, and mass media. Our research and field work led to the development of the Lean Systems Framework, a comprehensive organizational design framework, for which Frode was awarded a Fellowship by the Lean Systems Society.
In 2014 we began a new chapter, observing that exponential technologies were undermining all the common assumptions in organizational design. After a study of 12,000 years of economic history we concluded that humanity was transitioning to a post-industrial civilization. We embarked on a quest to develop a new management science with new solutions and new practices suitable for the world that is now emerging. We refer to this as Post-Lean Thinking because its emphasis on just-in-time micro-organizations, looser relationships between people and organizations, and disruptive instead of incremental innovation.
Post-Lean represents a significant break with the industrial-era Lean school. Our first papers on Post-Lean were released in the summer of 2015 and in early 2017 we renamed the company to the Post-Lean Institute to signify our new direction.