The KZN Lean Conference powered by Vodacom and sponsored by Trade & Investment KZN, Training Leadership Consulting and SLG took place from the 18 – 20 September. The essence of the Lean philosophy is the drive towards continuous innovation, and less being wedded to a vision. So said Brant Cooper, the international keynote speaker at day one of the KZN lean conference at the ANEW Hotel in Hilton. In his presentation, The Myth of the Visionary, Cooper said an investigation into the likely success of a new business, or idea, should be underscored by evidence. “Forget the business plan, bring the evidence,” he said. A vision, or an idea, is merely the spark to ignite the process of investigation, Cooper said. If one is to propose a new approach to customer behaviour for instance, the investigation process should be driven by three Es, – empathy, experimentation, and evidence.
Practically, it means that as much research as possible should be undertaken on the subject, that the knowledge, or a hypothesis, should be tested through experimentation, and that the results from a trial-and-error investigation should inform the evidence. The experience and evidence gained through this process should deliver a minimum value proposition that, be definition, is agile or flexible, Cooper said.