Old vs New Lean SOAR vs SWOT

Traditional Lean practitioners equate Lean to waste reduction and problem solving (SWOT). New practitioners of Lean emphasize knowledge and strength building (SOAR). More information: A New Approach to Lean – Robert Fritz. and Strength–Based Lean and Six Sigma.

I equate this to the fundamental difference between SOAR and SWOT. SWOT is the age-old concept of defining our Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SOAR is a strength-based approach. SOAR allows you to lead with the positive side of the issues and many times you will often discover more. The SOAR framework is outlined by Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results. There may not seem like a huge game-changer but what I recommend is that you try it and see the difference it makes in your session. More information: Overcoming Sales Resistance with SOAR.

Recommended Book: The Thin Book of SOAR; Building Strengths-Based Strategy

I have found recent books providing a nice bridge between Lean and Sales & Marketing.

A few of them that I have read:

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler of SalesForce

Revenue Disruption by Phil Fernandez of Marketo

Social Marketology by Ric Dragon of Dragon Search

The Connected Company by Dave Gray

Question MarkAll of these emphasize the iterative process of continuous improvement. They are very Lean like in their descriptions of the marketing processes promoting knowledge building and pull as a way of creating flow. They also highlight the interconnectedness of people and the collaborative aspect that exist in business today.

This new approach moves us away from a company assuming it has more knowledge than a customer. That expert status type thinking – “We know more.”  It moves us away from the problem-solution type approach to one of joint discovery and learning. Trying to force your solution through a sales pipeline does not work in a collaborative type decision-making process. (More info:Lean Sales and Marketing: Outcome Based Mapping)

The question becomes if we are not solving problems for customers and providing solutions, what is our purpose? Stay tuned!

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