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Lean expert, Stephen Parry

Consumers want a service which responds to their actual, rather than perceived needs

International expert on Lean Service Principles, Stephen Parry, has hit out at what he sees as mis-selling of the Lean business model to an unsuspecting business community.

At a joint seminar run for post-graduate business students by the Imperial College Business School and the Chartered Management Institute, Stephen called for an end to Lean misrepresentation and took the opportunity to present the Lean message to his audience in its true form.

Stephen, who is CEO of business transformation company See Business Differently and visiting fellow at the Lean Enterprise Academy UK, said,

“My intention was to challenge the perception of Lean in the marketplace and educate our future business leaders in the true application of Lean.

“There are consultants selling Lean as simply a method of improving processes or achieving returns with the lowest possible resources, but this has never been the case. Lean is nothing less than complete business transformation; like choosing a lifestyle choice for good health, rather than having a spot of liposuction.”

Lean was first presented 80 years ago as a model which changes the way businesses are designed and built in order to create real value for the customer while minimising costs and maximising profits. But Stephen believes the idea was way ahead of its time and is the perfect model for 21st century businesses striving to respond to globalisation and the demand for individualisation.

“Consumers want a service which responds to their actual, rather than perceived needs. Employees want to be able to respond appropriately to these needs by being a part of the day to day problem solving and decision making process,” said Stephen. “Lean is the 21st century alternative to the old, machine-like model of standardisation that unfortunately most of us are used to.”

Stephen says he has heard from many companies who have implemented what they believed to be a Lean business model, only to discover they have either just “brushed the surface” or implemented something entirely different. As a result, they have not accomplished what they set out to achieve. He therefore grabbed at the opportunity to speak to business school students.

“Educating this generation ensures the real Lean message survives,” said Stephen.


Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Drapeau, PR Executive, on +44 (0) 1525 237599
Stephen Parry direct on +44 (0) 7838 114997

Facts about Stephen Parry
• He is author of the book, “Sense and Respond: the journey to customer purpose”, which presents an approach to business based on Lean Service Principles.

• Stephen Parry is a leading expert in the fields of Lean organisational design & transformation, and Lean leadership.

• Clients include SAP, BT, TNT, local government, police authorities, financial services organisations.

• Stephen speaks regularly at international events and respected business schools such as Cranfield School of Management and the Fisher Business School at Ohio University. He is a Faculty Member of the USA Lean Enterprise Institute, visiting Fellow at the Professor Dan Jones Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK and a regular judge at the national business awards.

• He has been interviewed on Radio 4 and featured in documentaries on BBC1 and Channel 4.

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