Lean companies are obsessed when it
comes to making everyone’s job easier.
They don’t talk about increasing profits; they know that is a byproduct of
being a people-centric operation.
A common theme at all lean com-
panies is “Standard Work.” This means
they have detailed the instruction of
dards: Don’t solve problems that don’t
exist. Start with high-level reminders,
and only delve into a particular step if
and when errors occur. I will quote four
famous people on standards.
• Jeff Kaas, who runs Kaas Tailored,
a top lean company, said “If you don’t
have standard work, forget about it.”
• Taichi Ohno, creator of the
Toyota Production System said, “No
standards, No Kaizen”.
• Henry Ford said, “Standardization
is the basis of all improvement.”
• Ritsuo Shingo, Toyota president,
said, “The definition of a problem is
deviation from standard.”
Repeat this each morning as you
evolve your company to a lean thinking
organization: “Today I know I’m the
problem. I will work toward fixing me
first. I will start to invest in my people
because they deserve it. After all, if I
want to grow my business, I must first
grow my people. I will endeavour to
learn something new. I will share this
knowledge with the people around me.
Together let’s improve. I will inspire
the people around me through my
improvements, so they may take action
fixing what bugs them. And before
the day is done, I will make time to
standardize one process. With each
passing day, we will relieve our people
the burden of trying to remember
everything. Standards will free their
minds from the trivial and allow them
to focus on what to fix next.”
Still want to be a beast? Then you
gotta do what beasts do. ✚
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