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Friday, May 4, 2012

Lean Quote: Opportunity is Dressed as Hard Work

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.

Today's Lean Quote is brought to you by Matt Wrye, blogger at Beyond Lean. Matt has a been a good friend through my online Lean trials and tribulations. With Matt's 10+ years of lean implementation and problem solving experience, he is able to draw on his successes and failures to tackle new challenges by presenting fresh perspectives and results-driven solutions. His cornerstone belief is that all levels of the business unit should be educated on lean thinking and principles. To this point, Matt diligently challenges his own lean knowledge while working with all business levels ranging from human resources, accounting and the manufacturing floor to senior managers, executives and presidents. By adhering to this continuous learning philosophy, Matt is able to focus his lean efforts to provide continuous improvement.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work." — Thomas Edison

I found this quote awhile back and have kept it close ever since. It is one that reminds me that if I want to make a difference I need to work hard for it.

From a lean lens, this means digging in and finding the true root cause of the waste. Not putting a band aide on the issue or treating just the symptom of the problem. It is hard work to take the time to dig deep and find the true root cause. It is hard work to have patience to continue to understand the problem when everyone around you is jumping to conclusions and solutions without understanding the problem. It is hard work to do things right.

But if we do put on those overalls and do the hard work, in the end we create better change and better improvements. That will also help us standout from the crowd who mostly is looking for the easy, shiny, magic silver bullet so they don’t mess up their clean suits. That can be very rewarding. That is what can keep us motivated and moving along.

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1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite quotes. Root Cause Analysis is a perfect example of such an opportunity our our manufacturing sites. Thanks for looking at it from the Lean perspective.