Principles of Operational Excellence (The Macrolake House)
“Think in terms of categorical principles.” The Macrolake House is a categorization of the guiding principles of operational excellence. Associated with each category are also listed many important supporting concepts. The principles are categorized into four dimensions: cultural enablers, continuous process improvement, enterprise alignment, and results – the ultimate end of all business initiatives. These four dimensions overlay five core business systems: product/service development, customer relations, operations, supply, and a variety of management or administrative support systems.
The Macrolake Lean for Operational Excellence did not create the 10 guiding principles of operational excellence, but rather they have always existed. In truth, there is ample evidence that these principles have been well understood, more or less, at different times for thousands of years. As the world has gone through cycles of advancement and decline, it seems these principles are routinely lost and forgotten and must be re-discovered. Emerging from the dark ages into a period of enlightenment and industrialization, the impact of these principles are only now beginning to be understood again.Certainly, and even surprisingly, most companies do not emphasize these principles even though they are the driver for business execution excellence. The cause for this may be that these fundamental business principles have been lost in management fads and tool boxes that become programs or “flavors of the month.” The Macrolake Lean for Operational Excellence has made a diligent search of thought leaders over the last 100 years. Their work has been carefully analyzed and dissected and the unique concepts or principles from each have been extracted. Compiling, distilling, and prioritizing the list led to the 10 guiding principles on the left side of the house and the supporting concepts for each dimension on the right side. Supporting concepts are critical to pay attention to but may not stand up to the rigor of being universal, timeless, and selfevident like the guiding principles. The dimensions are the result of “thinking categorically about the principles.” It is clear that all four dimensions of the model require focus in order to achieve excellence. In the same way that we need to comprehend objects in three dimensions to truly appreciate all of their characteristics, operational excellence must be viewed in these four dimensions in order to fully appreciate the power of the principles to affect business outcomes.