Defining the Indefinable

Defining the Indefinable

Earlier this month I posted a blog in which I stated that there is no clear definition of Lean in the literature. I was amused recently by a commentary by Joseph Paris in which he describes similar experiences to my own in trying to find a definition of operational excellence. He noted the same as me – how can you say if you have it if you can’t say what it is?

I recommend Joseph’s commentary but also offer a gentle critique:

What I really liked about it was the excellent definition of operational excellence he proposes along with clear explanation of what he exactly he means by each phrase used within that definition mean.

What I really disliked about it is that I had to trawl through lots of stuff (about his journey of discovery regarding other people’s failure to adequately define operational excellence) before getting to the good bit.

The lesson for Joseph here and probably an important reminder for all of us is: readers seldom linger as I did on Joseph’s commentary. So saving the best til last is a poor strategy in this age of information overload!