Sunday, September 30, 2018

Just Go Lean Something Today

Here I sit on a Sunday morning, having officiated some college football this weekend. As always, there are a few plays that I wish I could have done differently. In 32 years, I have never NOT felt this way. Officiating is like golf and lean, I guess...the never-ending pursuit of perfection and a test of stick-to-itiveness. 

My biggest regret when I started "doing" lean in my own company in 2002 is that I wasted way too much time getting myself and everyone else up to speed on lean concepts. You see, we had a mandatory 1-hour weekly company meeting (on Wednesday mornings at 9 am) for over 1 year. I bought and handed out 70 copies of "Lean Thinking", "The Toyota Way", "It's Your Ship", "Toyota Kata", "Learning to See", and asked everyone to read 1 chapter per week. On Wednesday morning, I would administer a quiz. I also spent 3 months of my own life, at the same time, getting myself "certified".

Eventually, it becomes time to actually DO. As my lean friends out there know, actually DOING is 1000x harder than studying and learning about it. The word KAIZEN rolls off the tongue in less than 2 seconds, and it all sounds beautiful in theory. Creating a culture of kaizen, however, feels like about 20 minutes...….UNDER WATER! 

Sort of like officiating football or hitting a golf ball. I can study, watch Power Points, whatever, but sooner or later, you need to hit the field with people yelling at you, or you find yourself on the 1st tee with everyone watching you.

LEAN is the ultimate learn by doing business strategy. Why not just go ahead and lean something today?

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