LEAN Government Summit in Ottawa January 25, 2018 – Highlights

F E A T U R E D  A R T I C L E

ASQ Ottawa Valley Section was proud to attend another successful Lean Government Summit. It was a pleasure to meet and learn along with so many lean enthusiasts. So what stood out for me?

LEAN thinking is all about looking for value and what the customer defines as value. LEAN systems thinking is about taking a fresh look at value, how to manage it and how to create a sense of perfection. For Steven Page, first Parliamentary Budget Officer, LEAN is all about people and their agility to respond and continue to provide value.

LEAN is not about making cuts, It is about growing capacity within existing resources. “It is about halving the bad and doubling the good”, says Jacob Stoller, Author of the Lean CEO. Doing this requires leaders that really understand and focus on the front line, and radical transparency where all can speak about what is not working. There are many sources for a problem, so it is important to enlist everyone in the organization as a problem solver.

LEAN practice means never giving up. So how can you build resilience skills? Bernard Chartrand, Scrum Master, says that how we see things opens up possibilities or closes doors. Resilience is about seeing the possibilities in overcoming obstacles. So what does it take to be resilient? It is about keeping an eye on the bigger goal, sharpening skills and just plain grit. Grit is a growth mindset that enables people to persevere and to get beyond assumptions that get in the way of change.

LEAN involves powerful conversations. A conversation can take a project off the rails or be so inspiring that the project leap frogs to the next level, says Glen Orsay, Telfer School of Management. Conversations have multiple layers and can be at the relationship , possibilities or direct action levels. To get to powerful conversations, we need to have conversations at the right level and also change the way we ask questions. To be powerful , questions should be open and enable the other person to get to the answers on their own. Powerful listening enables both sides to stay with the question longer and to achieve the level of trust that allows us to delve deeper.

Can’t wait until next year’s LEAN Government Summit!


About the contributor:

Ruth Stanley

Ruth Stanley is the Chair, ASQ Ottawa Valley Section. She can be reached using our contact form.


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