Friday, October 28, 2016

Lean Quote: There are No Limits

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.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.— Bruce Lee

Companies naturally plateau because they get too happy too soon.  The earliest plateau occurs after some initial stability from attacking low hanging fruit. In actuality if you are focused on developing people it is all low hanging fruit. These plateaus along the journey to true north can be counteracted by not only teaching the know-how but teaching the know-why.

Plateaus are going to happen and management must anticipate them.  They are a temporary place to solidify concepts and learning. Leaders must take the next step to move past their comfort zone. It is management kaizen that gets you past plateaus. Companies who break through realize that employee development leads to business (and Lean) success.

Simply, sustainability is about lasting change. Sustainability is discussed often and one of the great issues in management.  We have all seen facts related to the low rates of sustaining change or seen news about a company who lost its way. Unfortunately, we see all too often those companies who finally reach #1 to only lose their way.

Complacency can and will compromise the performance of your organization. Everyone can become complacent in their particular environment, and there are different levels of complacency. At higher management positions, complacency may be more latent. At the line personnel “trigger pullers” level, however, complacency can have catastrophic results.

When it comes to complacency with regard to Lean it is often the result of a “We are Lean” mindset. This leads to a reduction in awareness/focus and leads to a false sense of security. For Lean to work effectively, the organization must be constantly focused on continuous improvement and best practice procedures for providing value. What sets an effective Lean system apart from simply reducing waste is ingraining continuous improvement thinking into daily practice. Lean is not about a destination but rather journey.

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