Becoming a “Lean” Company

As I reported recently, it is obvious that your efforts on “lean” – working to eliminate wasted time, wasted motion and wasted material – are working.

We are identifying areas to attack. We focus our attention on improving them. You coordinate your efforts. And, you get results.

But, the first part is the easy part. Sort of like a honeymoon. Then, the newness can wear off. If we don’t watch it, we drift back to less-than-optimal performance.

The psychology of a high-performance team fights that complacency.

They do three things:

They become students of the process they are changing, document those changes and teach/reteach them as they continue.

They stay humble about their achievements. They acknowledge the improvements. But, they develop a “paranoia” about how quickly the gains can slip away.

Finally, they move on to the next improvement. They note the change and begin to set new goals, plan to acquire additional skills and work to improve.

We have made a great start in behaving as a “lean” company. The key to us making a long-term difference is thinking consistently as a “lean” company.

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