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Rubicon’s model of integrated development

Our experience over many years has taught us the dangers of one-sided change initiatives, and the importance of integrating developments in the realms of strategy, process, structure and culture.  Failure to do so leads to inevitable disappointment: broken processes prevent the implementation of new strategies; process improvements are blocked by structural conflicts; re-structuring is resented and resisted; attempts at culture change are deemed irrelevant because they do not address concrete work issues; and so on…

The diagram shows how these key elements are interdependent.  Lean thinking focuses primarily on process transformation, but will not succeed unless it is supported by strategic commitment, well-designed structures and a participative culture.

Development can start in any of these aspects, but needs to lead to a benign cycle, strategically driven, in which:

optimised processes provide the basis for the design of enabling – rather than disabling - structures;

holistic structures create the context for genuine empowerment and supportive, stimulating relationships; and

a culture of continuous challenge and improvement constantly increases the value-to-waste ratio in all processes.

Process Flow

The design, control and continual improvement of value streams is at the heart of management responsibility. Organisations need to understand clearly what their customers or clients truly value, and ensure that activities to create this value flow uninterruptedly with minimum delay, disruption and waste. The "gravity" which pulls these streams must be the requirements of the final customer, with every tributary upstream responding to this at the right time. Rubicon Associates are leading proponents and facilitators of this approach, which has become known as "lean thinking" and is currently achieving step-change improvements in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, construction, logistics, service, retail and finance.

Enabling Structures

The value stream needs to be supported and guided by consistent, empowering structures, which allow all contributions to be aligned in a coherent, integrated whole. Boundaries within and between organisations should provide minimum resistance to the flows of work and communication. Rubicon uses a clear and proven set of principles and a step-by-step methodology to design jobs, team tasks and management structures - so that these optimally support the work process and enable a challenging, participative culture to arise.

Abundant Culture

The soul of an organisation is its culture: inspiring leadership brings out the best in people by fostering involvement, creativity and innovation at all levels. This means appreciating the importance of learning and development as a core component of business strategy, not an optional extra. Rubicon's "integrated learning" approach ensures that development programmes are created and implemented in close harmony with process improvements, structural changes and positive cultural values.

Seamless Connections 

Increasingly, successful organisations will recognise that the quality of their relationships is a central asset - which, like all assets, needs investment, maintenance and development. The support and co-operation of stakeholders, especially customers and suppliers within the value stream, is an important determinant of overall performance. Businesses must learn to collaborate effectively, in order to compete effectively. This requires best-practice negotiation, constructive conflict-handling, and the creation of robust, dynamic partnerships and contracts. Rubicon has many years' experience of developing skills, strategies and techniques for building optimum relationships.


You can contact us by phone on (+44) (0)1342 825065 or by email info@rubiconassociates.com