Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Lean Startup in Politics




I was reading a paper this-morning written by NZ politician Sir Roger Douglas, in preparation for a talk that I'll be attending by this fellow as part of an economics course that I'm doing at the moment. The paper was written in 1990 and is entitled "Politics of Successful Structural Reform" - here is a link to it:

https://www.cis.org.au/images/stories/policy-magazine/1990-autumn/1990-6-1-roger-douglas.pdf

The paper is generally about policy reform in New Zealand through the 1980s and to some extent, as with most political rhetoric, is about the writer patting himself and his colleagues on the back. There is a clear tone in this paper however of an urge to improve the nation and look past petty political posturing and toward the "long game" of improving the nation's situation. Sir Roger urges the reduction of wasteful posturing and a focus on developing policy that will improve the long-term prospects of a/the nation - regardless of what party is in control. Lean Thinking comes to mind.

While reading, I stumbled across the following passage:

"Before you can plan your perfect move in the perfect way at the perfect time, the situation has already changed anyway. Instead of a perfect result, you wind up with a missed opportunity."


...regardless of what you may know of Sir Roger Douglas or what you might think of him; and despite the fact that other parts of the paper perhaps imply thinking to the contrary - this passage seems to light up the philosophy of the Lean Startup movement very, very neatly. At least, I find it to be insightful and relevant (to the Lean Startup movement), and worth quoting!

For a quick overview of "Lean Startup", take a look at this recent HBR article:

http://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything

Or even better, I can highly recommend that you borrow or buy and read Eric Reis' book. If you have an interest in business or product/process development, this book I reckon, is in-fact probably on it's way to making the "must-read list" for our time:

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