Lean as a Political Platform

The Lean Insider blog is not endorsing any particular candidate for the Senate seat in Washington state, but in terms of political angles, I could not help but find one of independent candidate Paul Akers' positions quite interesting. In this article published on the Edmonds Beacon site, Akers (the owner of FastCap -- a product development company that makes woodworking tools and equipment) believes he is a different type of candidate because he is a "Lean manufacturer" and "Lean thinker" and would use this methodology to reshape the government culture if elected.

Although many politicians speak of eliminating waste in government, Akers feels most don't have the proper skills to accomplish it. He contends, however, that his background in owning and managing a company that "empowers people to eliminate waste every day" makes him especially qualified.

Here's Akers' summation of his "10 to Lean" plan: "You cut taxes by 10 percent, you cut spending by 10 percent, across the board, for three consecutive years, and implement a Lean strategy throughout the federal government. Every federal agency will have one Lean thinker who will teach people how to eliminate waste and increase quality. By default, that will shrink the size of the federal government, shrink spending, create more jobs, and more opportunity for everyone with lower taxes. It’s a winning formula."

I'm sure this is the first instance in which I've heard such an explicit use of Lean as part of a political campaign. What are you thoughts? I welcome all insightful comments.


Unknown said...

I've worth with this guy for nearly two years and he's the REAL DEAL:

Tell your Washington friends to check out his credentials:


rewinn said...

I would like to see an experiment at the local level before leaping to the federal level.

Pilot it with a town, county or small state. It always helps to debug on a test platform!

Mark Welch said...

I really like rewinn's idea...

As for Akers's idea overall, he's GOT to know that such a transformation, especially at the federal level, is a real long shot to be successful. Does he really think these senators and so many other individuals are going to genuinely embrace lean? It takes a critical mass of committed people and a LOT of learning. I'd really like to see it work, though. Imagine... Congress seeing the public as customers... What a concept!

Dean Bliss said...

Mark and rewinn make a good point. Federal agencies, state agencies (including my state of Iowa) and other governmental entities have had success at applying Lean to government activities. Might be a bit much to bring it to a place like Congress.