Implementing the Lean Startup in any company is hard. All the culture and incentives are designed for execution. Innovation at times seems like you’re swimming up hill. Now compound that level of effort with trying to put a Lean Startup culture in place in Japan.
According to Takashi Tsutsumi and Masato Iino, Japanese companies tend to be technology centric, obsess over quality and have weak leadership. Technology centric leads to companies ignoring their customers and the challenge is that they don’t do customer interviews. The obsession with quality leads to a silo mentality and a mania for procedure, the challenge is a lack of flexibility. And weak leadership leads to a reluctance to change and the inability to mandate Lean as an innovation process.
They list four actionable steps for implementing Lean in Japanese corporations. I think they’re relevant for all companies.
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