I am not remotely qualified to advise anyone on the complexities of marriage or the workings of the female psyche; I can only observe the universal truth that you can take your wife out on the golf course and attempts to teach her the fundamentals of the game will be met with resistance bordering on resentment. yet a complete stranger on the course can point out the very same things and she will not only accept that input as useful, but she is apt to become quite good at applying them. It is not just a female/marriage issue. For some reason the advice from total strangers carries more weight with just about everyone than similar advice from those near to us.
I suspect this murky psychological phenomena is at play in the case of Renault being captivated by Indovation - "flexibility" that "yields advantages for businesses that transcend just labour costs" that is somehow unique to India.
"Mudguards made in India can be 75 per cent cheaper than anywhere else in the world simply by using recycled rubber"; buying used equipment from the west rather than new, focusing on cycle times, and most starling of all – thinking up the concept of predictive maintenance. All of these things apparently knocked the socks off of Renault and the author of the article – a guy from the Boston Consulting Group – who have come to see India as a "a source of best practices in management and strategy".
I don't want to take anything away from the Indian companies cited as examples of "Indovation" as a result of implementing these fundamental lean practices. It is good stuff, regardless of the source. I do have to scratch my head at a guy from the Boston Consulting Group going all the way to India. There is a Dunkin Donuts right across the bridge from the Boston Consulting Group headquarters – just around the corner from LEI. The LEI folks I know are principled, but they can be bought. I bet that for the price of a cup of coffee and a couple of donuts the someone from LEI would have explained all of this stuff to him.
No, I think the issue has more to do with the marketing interests of the Boston Consulting group – thinking up a name like 'Indovation' is cool stuff and it helps peddle their high-priced outsourcing practice; like the guys from Harvard who reinvented lean and very cleverly called it M4L4M – More For Less For More. and it is the result of Renault being hopelessly inward focused – about as far from being a lean enterprise as a company can get and still survive. They could have picked all of this up from the Lean Institute in France– however, lacking a good nearby donut shop they might have had to pay full price for the knowledge.
At the end of all of this, I suppose it is good to see Renault, the Boston Consulting Group and India heading down the lean path. It is a good thing to have your wife take to golf and get good at it too – another activity you can share can only improve any marriage. It is a little frustrating, however, to see them all have to learn it the hard way when it could have been a very straightforward proposition.