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#82 Simon Elias, Individual and collective improvement using Lean & Enterprise Excellence.

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

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People, lean, organisation, accreditation, accredited, big, create, thinking, LCS, bit, apply, yellow belt, approach, fitness, customer, black belt, learning, pandemic, point.


Welcome to Episode 82 of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast. It is such a pleasure to have Mr Simon Elias on the show with us today. Simon's mission is to understand how Lean thinking and associated schools of thought can be applied by people in organisations to improve individual and collective performance and achievement of purpose. Simon is the director of the Lean Competency Services LCS, which operates Cardiff University's lean competency system. Today, we'll explore how to develop people in Lean and associated methodologies to achieve individual and collective improvement and achievement of purpose.

We are proudly sponsored by S A Partners, a world-leading business transformation consultancy.

Simon's Two Minute Tip


I think, based on what I said, focusing on the people dimension is a critical, critical thing. You've got to find ways of encouraging, incentivising people, you know, to want to do this, tapping into this intrinsic motivation. And there are lots of things available to do that, I think. I think getting people to understand process thinking scientific thinking that's the basis that everything is based on: process and thinking.

You know, as Deming said, If you don't see what you do as a process, you don't know what you're doing, you know, and that's the big barrier. A lot of people don't think process is for them. It's for the people in the call centre on the factory floor. But for the management, you've got to adopt processes of thinking. And you know, it's about scientific thinking, becoming a learning organisation as well, you know, one that facilitates the learning of its members and then continually transforms itself.

For me, this is the basis of which it all starts and sustains. Yes, you've got to have the right capabilities and the skills and customer focus and value. But it's that people dimension, process thinking, scientific thinking, and becoming that learning organisation. For me, concentrate on that first, because that will be the basis on which everything will be successful, I think.

Brad's Key Takeaways

Firstly, find your own approach.

Every organisation is different. Applying a one size fits all approach to lean or enterprise excellence is crazy. An organisation that takes the time to understand themselves, research best practices in enterprise excellence, and then develop their own way has more chance of achieving and sustaining an excellence journey. It is your journey, not someone else's. You can adapt it totally to suit your organisation. And you are less likely to hear those dreaded words: that won't work here.

My second key takeaway is the reward and recognition of team members' development.

So many studies have been conducted around habit change. All of them identify reward as a key ingredient of success. Establishing a system of training that is certified takes effort to achieve and is presented in a celebratory way is a great approach to achieving ongoing success and outcomes. Employees who have been trained in your approach, certified through one of the world's leading bodies and universities, with certificates presented to them in an event by senior leaders are highly likely to go out and apply their learning. They feel special. They're motivated, and their confidence builds to adapt and make things happen with their new learnings.


Brad is proud to support many Australian businesses. You can find him on LinkedIn here. If you'd like to speak to him about how he can help your business, call him on 0402 448 445 or email Our website is

Simon Elias is available on Linkedin:

What next?

  1. Join our competition to win a free training course - either Scrum Master, Product Owner or Scrum @ Scale, running in March 2022. Connect with Brad and mention the offer - via email at or our website "contact us page",, or LinkedIn.

  2. Join our membership page to access the big picture map.

  3. Join our community, beginning in April 2022.

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