I was sitting with some guys talking about ways to help “lean” catch on.
One of the things said was that those who are in authority have to learn to be less “certain.” He explained:
“When you are in charge, people ask you for solutions and you get used to giving them. I’m learning that the solution that I give may work but it may not be the best solution. So, I’m taking the time to ask others in the room about how they would approach the problem that’s being discussed.”
I think that assessment is right on the mark. Lean thinking teaches us to question every process. It teaches us to look at each process that we do and see if we can make it better. In fact, the longer we’ve been doing something the same way, the more likely we should be to stop and consider whether it can be done better.
I’ve heard it said of a cocky man that he was “frequently wrong but seldom in doubt.” The more willing we are to question our processes, the more open we will be to gaining ground with lean thinking.