Lean was made for Nonprofits – Lauren Wisniewski

Lauren Wisniewski is a Lean Process Facilitator for the State of Michigan and the founder of Rise Consulting Company. She wrote an article in 2021 about explaining the key attributes inherent to the nonprofit sector culture that make it easy to adopt and practice Lean methods and thinking.

  • People-Driven – Lean wants to increase connections between people, and connection is essential to truly practice empathy, which is the foundation of the nonprofit sector.
  • Do More – Lean is the means to highlight any current wasteful actions, streamline the expertise, and create an environment where nonprofits are thriving, not simply surviving.
  • Lean, mean, problem-solving machine – With a Lean approach to problem-solving, the services will improve, greatly impacting the staff member, client served, and the donor base. Funders are looking for nonprofits to prove true value and evidence of impact. Lean provides a way of standardizing the service delivery itself as well as the administrative tasks involved and naturally brings all data to the forefront. 
  • Mission-driven → Values-driven – Lean is the means of keeping a nonprofit’s values at the center of every action, rather than trying to back up funding efforts with manipulated values.
  • Quality over Quantity – Focusing on values will have a tremendous impact on the presence and strength of a nonprofit in the community, and Lean is that gentle reminder, or driving force, to keep values guiding all actions.
  • Unique Nonprofit Attributes – The nonprofit sector has a variety of backgrounds from which nonprofit professionals come, and that diverse background is embraced by Lean and the idea of team problem solving and respect for people.
  • The many hats of nonprofits – Nonprofits have to deal with public and mission accountability, the sensitivity of activity, and the nature of soliciting for donations. You cannot optimize just one piece, and Lean is a systems optimization approach that looks across all areas and processes, not about making isolated changes that can disrupt other processes.

Read the entire article at https://nonprofithub.org/lean-was-made-for-nonprofits/

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