The Republic Of Lean


Lean has me hooked. Lean thinking is beginning to appear everywhere. In the top echelons of the US government, in healthcare and in education, far from its roots in manufacturing.

There are lots of tools in the lean toolbox to help us get there, like Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas, Brant Cooper’s The Lean Entrepreneur and Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup.

Why do I like lean? It’s because of the huge untapped opportunity of it, the games changing scope of it, the fundamental, no way back disruptive power of it.

I wanted to reach back into all the places I have come from and fundamentally reenergise them, make them better, more responsible for you their user/customer/client/visitor/ student or patient. This thought made me beyond excited. This notion has changed my life in every way. Flipped the funnel of consciousness right back where it should always have been, not about me or my company or just how cool I am; but about YOU. Why you need me, why you are the centre of what I do, what I say and what I want you to do next. Delighted customers are the centre of the universe and that’s it. Once this motion gets engrained in your consciousness it changes everything and the game becomes faster, smarter, more cost effective and you get things DONE.

Think of the next generation of creatives, doctors, teachers, inventors, politicians even, yes them too. What if lean was the centre of their world. What if they adopted lean in the same way the software folks have. Think of the implications. No more blame. No more waste. Way more accountability. User centered practices based on KNOWING their customers. The revolution is not far away, it’s happening right now and this bus is not going to stop. We all deserve better. We can do a whole lot better.

So let’s make it happen together. Make lean startup and customer development your bible. Trash “this is how things are always done around here” and STEP UP. Now is the time. God knows our country needs it.


  1. Sarah O'Farrell

    June 7, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Hi Mary, Great Post!

    I’ve been thinking about Lean a lot lately too and how it can be applied in non-tech environments – in everything we do, in how we approach things in our business and personal lives….

    Stop the bus! I wanna get on!


    P.s. we are long overdue a catchup!

  2. Mary Carty

    June 7, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Thanks Sarah. If the US government has lean tool kits to help their employees invent and become more entrepreneurial, then surely we can too. I was thinking about businesses like ours “teaching” and mentoring these kind of organisations to become more lean. Help pass the process on so to speak. We would all benefit. Right now I am using lean with arts organisations and artists, and it’s working. It’s not easy to change your perspective and lean forces this change in a very positive way. Now lets find a few more to get on the bus with us!


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