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The Going Lean Fieldbook by Stephen A. RUFFA

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CHAPTER 8

Shattering the Barriers to Innovation

INNOVATION IS perhaps the least understood aspect of going lean, but arguably the most important. Many times it is confused with product development, which is clearly a core part of innovation. But innovation goes further; its essence is translating new ideas into a successful product or service, requiring an ability to identify opportunities and a willingness to take action.1 And this is often where lean initiatives fall short.

Why is this? Creating innovation means breaking from the operations-focused mindset that marks so many business improvement initiatives. Innovation begins with developing a solid grasp of what the customer wants, along with a strong recognition of the implications across ...

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