post archives

April 15, 2014

3 ways leaders can help sustain a Lean culture

It’s now year four of the Lean journey at First West. I remember the excitement and buzz in the first year of Lean, when everyone saw the possibilities it held. But as often happens with any shiny new object, Lean became part of the norm in its second year at First West, so we focused on delivering results by training our teams and creating process improvements. In year three, significant emphasis was on equipping...

March 25, 2013

3 tips for making things fresh for employees on the Lean journey

There’s something innately enticing about starting something new. Consider the current infatuation with start-ups. Why are they so captivating, able to draw top talent into their leadership line-ups?  It usually isn’t financial reward (at least not immediately), a corner office downtown, or a guaranteed retirement income. Start-ups offer something that’s far more fulfilling: the...

February 6, 2013

Top 3 misconceptions about Lean you should know

It’s human nature to wrestle with change. The mere existence of the concept of “change management” tells you that change is not easy. A large part of that is uncertainty—we don’t know how a change will affect us. When it comes to organizational change such as introducing major philosophical and operational approaches such as Lean, that uncertainty can lead to assumption and misperception....

December 17, 2012

With nearly three and a half decades in the financial services industry, Jim Lamond could have folded his arms and raised an eyebrow when Lean came to First West. What could Lean possibly give that 34 years of experience hadn’t already taught him?

Tempting as it may have been to take a wait-and-see attitude, or simply go through the motions, this VP of Credit for First West’s Valley First division went whole hog on Lean. In just a few months, he achieved his Lean black...

November 27, 2012

Ask any CEO and they’ll tell you having a compelling corporate vision helps teams align and drives awareness and understanding of where the organization wants to be long-term.

So given the power of visioning in propelling companies forward, why do so many organizations not use this technique more broadly? We’ve done so at First West and found it can easily be applied to operational areas of the business, like process reengineering, for example. Because visioning can be...

October 16, 2012

If you’ve been following us, you’ll know that we embarked on a Lean journey in 2011. We’ve seen some pretty impressive results as we’ve adapted Lean methodology to our business.
Though Lean’s roots are in automotive manufacturing, its principles and methods apply to many industries, including service businesses. At First...