January 25, 2019

Benefits of Lean and Start-up Mindset

John Harvey

John Harvey
CEO & Principal/SAIL Consulting Group Inc.

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General Electric (GE) developed a lean startup theory called FastWorks, and despite their status as an established company GE has applied startup principles to drive speed of execution and agility.  Using their own version of agile for lean start-ups called FastWorks; GE successfully launched hundreds of projects. They focused on creating a portfolio of “bets” or investments which are ideas that translate into experiments.  Experiments are run and results studied before expanding to large scale in initiatives or programs.  This mindset encourages pilot projects for the purposes of proving hypotheses by studying actual results using performance data to determine if new projects should be expanded.  It provides a controlled environment to test theories and new concepts.  GE successfully applied this practice through executive-level support and sponsorship of new ideas or bets.  By securing executive buy-in and senior leadership support, GE has created coaches and change champions across the organization, challenging traditional GE beliefs and encouraging innovation through tools like “growth boards” to track and share new growth programs (Robertson, 2016).

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