Posted on October 22, 2016 · Posted in Uncategorized


The Chinese character for crisis has frequently been interpreted as two juxtaposed concepts: Danger & Opportunity.

For small businesses, the decision to engage a consultant often becomes a moment of crisis.

I have prospective clients who know they need help. They know Lean can help them, but constantly put it off.  Their defense is always the same: “it’s not a good time,” or “I just don’t have the money right now.”

There is no such thing as a good time!

When money is tight, you could really use the money-saving benefits of Lean.  When time is tight, you could really use the time-saving aspects of Lean.  When both are tight, you could use Lean for both reasons.  What’s holding you back?

As the Yin Yang symbol above illustrates, danger & opportunity occur simultaneously.  Yes, there is danger.  But when you sense danger, look for the opportunity.

Tight Money – If worries about how you’ll pay the consultant are your only concern, work out a deal.  Really.  Get the consultant to agree to structured payments, but don’t let money hold you back; not when you know you’ll make that money and more as you become more Lean.

Tight Time – Be honest with yourself.  There is never enough time to do everything.  Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and do it because you know it will free up time and capacity the further into the transformation you get.

Make an arrangement with your consultant to take things slower, if need be.  Understand, that approach costs both parties more, but it gets the project done.

Don’t put it off!  Commit, and get it done.

Tight Time & Money – You already know the answer.

Rarely is either time or money the real problem.  The time and money defense is usually just an excuse. When we peel the onion, the real reason is often the belief that “if we need to bring someone else in, it means we failed; we weren’t strong enough, smart enough, good enough, (fill in the blank) enough to do it ourselves.”

Wouldn’t failure really be the result of NOT doing something to improve your business?

Look at the situation a different way. You can do things the consultant can’t. You run a business and that’s a major undertaking. You might be able to do what the consultant can, but would that be the best use of your time? Sometimes you need to recognize when others can do something for you, leaving you to use your time for things that only you can do.

Demonstrate your leadership by helping your company reach it’s optimal potential.

Stop putting it off.  MAKE the time and the money to hire someone to help you. MAKE this a good time.