O p e n     F l o w     

Regenerative REINVENTION


Lean-flow and the Toyota approach is fundementally driven by a living systems view and the principle of Hitotzukuri ('making people'), that of developing people in the 'Gemba' workplace at all levels. Lean is coherent holistically and thus difficult to introduce, because it requires us to think and act horizontally. Lean-Flow is a systemic way of working which at the same time is completely sensitive to changing circumstances and can therefore adapt to change extra-ordinarilly quickly. It does this by completely educating and empowering everyone in the organisation to solve their own challenges themselves. Basically this is what allows an organisation's operation to thrive.

By 'lean-flow' we fundamentally mean 'lean' in its original use, reflecting the Toyota Production System (toyoda seisan hoshiki). We are adding the term 'flow' ('lean-flow'), because 'lean' by itself is often, unfortunately, seen merely as a cost cutting exercise or technique. Moreover 'lean' (as in 'lean start-up') has recently also been appropriated by the Agile movement. While Agile, especially its focus on pleasing clients, is derived from Lean, there are fundamental differences (witness the circular vs linear movement of kanban for instance) - agile has grown out of non-routine commercial activities like software or product development, R&D and creative industries, lean primarilly deals with routine activities found in manufacturing, tranportation, healthcare, retail and many industries, where similar actions are repeated again and again.

We are keen on introducing Lean-flow principles in industries which have so far had little exposure to them. Lean-flow is much more than an efficient manufacturing approach. We view lean-flow as a holistic management philosophy, whose purpose it is to elevate humans and society by collaboratively attaining a smooth operational flow of products and services in organisations, while reducing waste and toxicity. Aiming for both better cost efficiency and more sustainable environment-friendly client fulfillment, and ultimately customer satisfaction.

Lean-flow principles not only represent a set of tools for achieving a smooth operational flow, but are also a fundamental pan-organisational management philosophy centred around people and respect. Lean is an ecologically sustainable way of eliminating toxins and unnecessary inefficiencies, while respecting nature, humans and society.


Can Agile principles work outside of software?

  • Are you in an organisation knowing it has to change, but don't know how?
  • Have you come across terms like 'Agile', 'Lean', ;'Responsive', 'B-Corp', 'Beyond Budgeting', 'Teal', 'Ulab', ..... etc., and would like to better understand them?
  • Would you like the opportunity to talk about these new approaches with peers and consider how they might relate to your organisation?

If so, this 1-day workshop is for you:


Enabling Pan-Organisational Responsiveness in a Dynamic World

1-day Learning Workshop for leaders seeking to reinvent their organisations

Why Reinvent organisations?

The world is changing fast and in uncertain complex ways. We are facing a major crises, economically, environmentally and spiritually. Many organisations are trying to reivent themselves. They know that have to change, but don't know what to change, what to change to and how. Smaller organisations appear more nimble and are embracing new ways, dramatically out-competing the bigger brothers out of the market. Others are slower to follow, too large to feel the ripples or too big to free themselves from the chains of older forms of organising.

Most leaders know at heart that something needs to change; we have to re-shape our organisations to ensure they are fit for purpose and fit for the humans who work in them. Even large corporations will eventually have to adapt to the changing demands of the world or face extinction like the dinosaurs. And there are a myriad of new methods and approaches out there. This makes it all the more confusing. Are they competiing methodologies? Are they all proven? Do they work for all types of companies? How do I go about choosing which one(s) is (are) right for us?

Lean - Agile - Responsive Lineage

Probably the most common and most well known methodsis Agile. Agile developed in the software development industry, and as most organisations have an IT department of some form, many organisations may already have some Agile capabilities in-house. Agile itself grew out of Lean, which itself grew out of Toyota Management System, famous for Just-in-time, Kaizen and PDCA problem-solving. While Lean lends itself to routine repetitive activities (like manufacturing, hospitals, transportation etc), Agile works for creative product development (software, design etc). But Agile is relevant to all forms of organisational activity, well beyond software. Responsive is an example of an approach taking lean and agile principles a step further.

Workshop Outline and Delivery:

The workshop itself will be delivered in a non-conventional way. It will apply some of the principles of new ways of working, organising and leading to new a way of learning. The workshop will thus not be run in a classical training format with a trainer at the front, giving a well polished presentation of the various methodologies, with exercises, role-plays, practice, discussions, all facilitated from the top. It will be run using some of the new co-creative methodologies being explored.

Go to the Agile Beyond Software page for more information.


What is lean-flow and why is it important?

Lean is an integrated business system and leadership philosophy involving ALL employees in pursuing to create perfect client value as and when (and only as and when) needed, with a minimum of effort (cost) and toxicity (pollution). It is driven by econonomies of time (rather than scale) in constantly and consistently pursuing the elimination of waste, variation and workflow blockage while striving to continuously improve client value. Lean is underpinned by 3 basic principles, the 3 Ps.

  • PURPOSE: Common aim
  • PROCESS: Value stream
  • PEOPLE: Engagement

While lean was originally perceived as a cost-reduction exercise, its relentless drive to eliminate waste makes it even more relevant in our times of environmental concerns and sustainability. The mother of all wastes, according to Seiiji Toyoda, is overproduction - this is not only relevant to costs, but more importantly to reducing disposal of toxins and wasted materials into our environment.

One of the distinctive features of a lean organisation is that it pays more attention to its horizontal flow (workflow, feedback loops), so across the organisaion, than to its vertical flow (deparmental flow) up and down the organisation. This enables the organisation to be centred around clients at the end of the horizontal flow much more effectively.

Lean is important because it better serves clients and the common good, while at same time minimising waste and toxicity. From communication and work flow to cash flow - lean has been described by practitioners the most effective wealth-creating approach ever, and it does so in a highly sustainable way.

Value Stream Gemba Walk


The importance of Lean Accounting


Reflections on 25 years of Lean



If you have any question or would like to discuss anything raised, please give us a call or send us an email.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7117 8648  OR  EMAIL  US

Inspiring organisations to be more innovative, engaging hearts & minds holistically, and to create great client & community value with least effort, cost and harm to ecology
Tel: (+44) 020 7117 8648
email: info@open2flow.co.uk
Fax: (+44) 070 9286 3755

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