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Friday, April 14, 2023

Lean Quote: Don’t Water Your Weeds

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.

"Don’t water your weeds.  —  Harvey Mackay

The need for a business to address issues at the core and avoid skirting around them – for whatever reason this may be – is paramount.  Issues left to fester will become major problems before long and as highlighted, avoidable issues can be quashed before they have an effect, if tackled at source.

Along with tackling problems comes the need for change. Change is inevitable, and firstly acknowledging that it is required, and then acting upon this requirement can often be ignored.  The current situation or way of doing things can be ‘the norm’ – whether they represent good working practices or not – and so things can be left as-is to avoid change.

Change should be embraced and acted upon without prejudice. To enable this to be the case, the use of change control should be considered.  Control measures such as non-conformance reporting are often taken as an attack on an individual’s ability or way of working.  In order to embrace change, we all need to accept that nothing is ever perfect and that change, and indeed continuous improvement, can only be achieved through accepting that this is the reality.  This type of change control should be implemented with a view to identifying issues around working practice, procedures and processes, and not necessarily the individual involved in the activities.

Continuous Improvement should be exactly that – continuous.  This can only be achieved through identifying issues and problems, seeking solutions to these, and implementing them through accepting and acknowledging that they are necessary.

Identify the issue.  Seek the solution.  Implement the change.

Don’t just ‘water the weeds’, deal with the problem.

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