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Friday, June 18, 2010

Lean Quote, June 18, 2010: Respect for People

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

Feel free to share some of your favorites here as well.

”If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.” -- John W. Gardner

In the end Lean is all about people.  The power behind Lean is a management's commitment to continuously invest in its people and promote a culture of continuous improvement.  The Toyota Way can be briefly summarized through the two pillars that support it: Continuous Improvement and Respect for People. 

Jim Womack, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) explains showing respect for people in a lean company means more than always congratulating people.

Adam Zak, an executive recruiter specializing in lean, operational excellence and sustainability leaders, wrote a great article on respect for people on his blog Lean Connections.  In this article Adam highlights 5 points that gets to the essence of getting people engaged and energized throughout an organization:

1. Everyone needs to know and feel that he or she is needed.
2. Everyone wants to be treated as an individual.
3. Giving someone the freedom to take responsibility releases resources that would otherwise remain concealed.
4. An individual without information cannot take responsibility.
5. An individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility.

With the recent passing of John Wooden, famous basketball coach, I think it appropriate to end with one more quote:

"Respect a man, and he will do all the more." - John Wooden.

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