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Friday, April 22, 2011

Lean Quote: Lean and Green, Think about Future Generations

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.

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us." — Henrik Tikkanen

Today, April 22 has been designated Earth Day which creates a moment of reflection.
For over 40 years, Earth Day—April 22—has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.
Future generations should have the same opportunity that we have had using natural resources. Conserving and protecting our natural resources is important because some resources are not renewable and conservation is the only way that future generations will be able to access them. Since civilization is always pressing forward, the future generations should be focusing on how to preserve the remaining natural resources. We know little about the economic or long-term impacts of these energy resources.

In order for green technology to have an impact on the environment for the long term it must be sustainable for everyone everyday. Finding innovative and alternative technology that does not harmfully affect the environment or its people is the key.

Like the quote above indicates we need to think about our future generations. Many organizations fail to have this outlook in their vision. Lean and Green both require long term thinking to be successful. Not a few years but an outlook of generations, long after we’re done working. I have heard that Toyota thinks out 50 years into the future. When you think about your processes and products how long into the future do you consider? Would you change the way you do things based on a 50 or 100 year view?

So this Earth Day I challenge you to think long term in both your Green and Lean thinking. Your prosperity and sustainability depends on it.

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