More Kaizen

More Kaizen – Why Not Eleven? [the broken link was removed]:

We also talk about lean production and Toyota methods and how far you have to go. He tells me about a course he did where the company took him out of work for a couple of days and sent him to another plant where they showed him how to work an assembly line station, then set him to come up with 5 improvements for the process before lunchtime.When he delivered they said, what about another 5. Then it was come back in the morning with 10 more. When he delivered 10 they said, “why not 11?” Then he got it. Kaizen is not just taking millions of little steps, it is not just doing it because the boss says so, it is not even because you take pride in your work and you want to do the best job you can, its because you do everything with your customers and their needs in mind.

I really like how the idea of always looking to improve was presented here: Kaizen Means Thinking “Now Things are the Worst Ever” [the broken link was removed]:

In order to do kaizen and keep working towards becoming Lean, you need everyone to think “The current situation is the worst. I can’t stand it. I need to make it better.” This is a significant culture change for most of us.

It is difficult to do this in an organization that has not accepted lean principles. You have to be careful to not be seen as negative and just focusing on problems when so many others are trying to cover up problems and focus on what makes them look good (they have to think about their next performance appraisal after all).

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One Response to More Kaizen

  1. Mark Graban says:

    You’re right about the “making things look good mentality.” I’ve been most frustrated trying to use lean principles in exactly that kind of organization. Pointing out problems (and solutions!) got me labeled as “negative.” When politics and perception count more than the customer or employees, you’re sunk. So I left!deaf

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