I don't know how many companies or departments within companies that I work with where their first reaction to lean is, "that doesn't apply here".
I guess that's a natural response to anything new or unknown. Additionally, most lean activities start in manufacturing areas and the activities that occur there appear very different than the activities performed by knowledge workers.
I have found that there is a need to translate the language and conversation to an area of common understanding. This helps them to feel less threatened and more open to the ideas.
I will first go through and compare traditional lean manufacturing activities and map them to the world of the knowledge worker.
After that I will hopefully have some more research done on another realm of lean off the factory floor that I can share.