Friday, January 12, 2018

Lean Quote: All Progress Is Precarious

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.


"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Indeed, I think that this great man was right about the notion of progress which culminating in a solution leads us to another problem. Thus, the progress is so ephemeral and therefore has no end.

Lean is a journey that never ends. There will always be a gap between where you are (current state) and where you would like to be (True North). Since there will always be a gap, there will always be an opportunity to improve. The road to continual improvement can be a rocky one with many ups and downs. 

Change requires taking risks by embarking into the unknown. Those risks can sometimes be simple, while other times taking risks can be extremely costly – as civil rights movement leaders like Dr. King.

Improvement won’t happen if we are refusing to change. Improvement necessitates change for the better – changing our expectations, changing our worldviews, changing the way we do things, changing our plans and priorities.

And change necessitates ideas, plans, investments/sacrifices, and the courage to move from what is currently deemed comfortable. Leaders of change are often ridiculed because of their courage to challenge the status quo, but that’s where historical legacies are forged.

Thank you, Dr. King, for having the courage to make the world a better place.


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