Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Asking “why” is one of the key strategies for achieving better, “lean” practices. If you are new to the company, you may see us doing something one way and it seems like to you there is a better way. The tendency would be to step back and remain silent. Most new people figure the old ones have been doing it longer and probably know what they are doing.But, that isn’t the case. It is human nature to work on solving a problem until it doesn’t feel like a problem anymore. So, many times, the solutions we choose “work” but they aren’t the “best.” “Lean” thinking capitalizes on that mind set. It assumes there are procedures and processes that are used that were put in place because they worked. Lean says if we systematically look at things we do and challenge ourselves to look afresh at them, we can almost always find a way to make them better.”Fresh eyes” look at an old procedure as if it was a new problem and try to find a better way.
So, if you are new, speak up. If you are old, listen closely to the new guy who asks why. There may be improvement in the ideas.
And, finally, if you’re experienced, try to look at what you are doing with “fresh” eyes. There is more meat on the bone.