Many people consider Lean and Innovation to be opposing ideas. Some say Lean is about cost cutting and Innovation is about creativity. Both perceptions are incomplete. In fact, Lean and Innovation work well together in achieving both the Great Idea and the Great Process.
In our experience we have seen the failure of a great idea due to improper design, manufacture and/or testing. We have also seen a lousy idea be brought to market very effectively only to fail due to a lack of differentiation and/or innovation. Lean is terrific at streamlining and eliminating waste and very powerful in the Development phase of new product development. Innovation, meaning
an emphasis on capturing the voice of the customer and creating
differentiated solutions, is essential in the Discovery phase.
The right answer? You need both!