Just A Minute, I might have the answer to flow right here.
There are times when you need to freshen up your material. An analogy, however good, at some point must be laid to rest. In my case, my usual one for describing continuous flow had been given its last rights as I knew my audience consisted of delegates that had heard it before. This was my night at the palladium and fresh material, untested as it was, needed to be used.
Now this is somewhat embarrassing, by that I mean admitting that you flunked it with the audience. It’s not just that the analogy didn’t work its that I soldiered on. For 15 minutes. Here goes:
‘I want to talk to you about Continuous Flow’ and how this can transform your business.’ Deep breath now as I step into the unknown. ‘Does anyone here listen to Just a Minute on Radio 4?’ Twenty four people keep their mouths shut and their hands down. I’m in trouble here. I’m in my fifties and I’m surrounded by young groovers still tuned into Radio 1. This is not good.
‘You know, the one where you have to talk for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition?’ Silence.
‘Nicholas Parsons? Paul Merton? Sue Perkins? More silence. Sorry, Nicholas. Please, please let the ground open up and swallow me.
‘Graham Norton, Stephen Fry?’. A few murmurs. I do my Graham Norton impression to try and win some time. No, not working. I go back to the old analogy. Failure accepted. But listen to me now. It's such a great analogy and will help Lean champions across the globe if only BBC Radio 4 would move the programme to TV. It's better than the X Factor any day of the week.
Imagine your product, patient, or customer flowing through your self created Value Stream without hesitation (think WIP, waiting, stalling) without deviation (additional work content, scope creep, over-processing) or repetition (re-work, more re-work). It's perfect. Come on the BBC!