A basic discipline of Lean Thinking is the quest for the root cause of a problem, enabling a solution to treat the disease, not just the symptoms.

The converse discipline, seeking the root cause of success so that it can be understood, articulated and used to build repeatable processes is far less commonly used, but no less important.

Many years ago as a young product manager, I  was on the periphery of the creation of Meadow Lea’s iconic “you ought to be congratulated” advertising.  As the success of the advertising which emerged from a brave combination of consumer research and creative insight became evident, a lot of effort was put into assembling a detailed understanding of the dynamics at work that drove the success, so we could ensure it continued whilst being expressed sufficiently differently to remain fresh to consumers .

I have never forgotten the lesson.

Unfortunately, the more recent management of the current owners of the brand, Goodman Fielder, have forgotten the lessons if they ever knew them, proving again the value of corporate memory, and the effort it takes to institutionalise it, turn it into the culture of the place,  rather than allowing it remain in peoples heads, only to have them move on.