Every CEO wants to ensure that his or her company is at the top of its game and that it will continue to improve, preferably faster than the competition. Lean is a widespread business methodology for achieving this. While originating in manufacturing, Lean has made inroads in sectors such as logistics, retail, financial services, health care, IT and technology startups.

Lean can yield very dramatic improvements in innovation, customer satisfaction and financial performance. It does, however, represent a significant shift away from traditional management practices. Many CEOs are interested in exploring Lean, but in doing so they must determine how to make it work given their organization’s circumstances.

This white paper provides an in-depth overview of challenges CEOs need to overcome when introducing Lean. We also discuss how Lean can be extended to help knowledge-intensive organizations and provide tips for how to begin the journey.

Last revised: January 18, 2013

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