Many of us are on a continuous journey to get better. When you have a lot of people who work with you, it can be much more complicated to improve the company. You may be known for rushing in, making suggestions for improvement and rushing on to the next area. Or you may patiently ask for suggestions and the room goes quiet. Start with “what’s bugging you?” Pick one thing and come up with a fix.
That is one of a number of good strategies discussed by Paul Akers in his book 2 Second Lean, which is aimed at bringing LEAN into your organization – and I’ve seen it make team members raving fans. But I’ve also seen Lean implemented, make some good process change and go no further than what the outside implementer suggested. Only if your people embrace it, does it truly did not become part of the culture.
Starting with fixing one thing that is bugging you (or a team member) introduces you to lean. Start with your own space at work or at home, it will become crystal clear. There are way too many paint cans, garden tools and other junk around my car in the garage. Since COVID, I don’t think I’ve reorganized that part of the garage. But, I will take that on next Saturday. Please notice, I’m not committing to cleaning out the overhead shelves that would involve my husband. This is mine alone. And, I’ve marked it down as a 1 hour project that will make me happier.
Akers starts with the 5 s’s and it always made sense to start with organizing your stuff: sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. Cooks call it mise en place. Have all the ingredients measured out and ready before you cook. Does this idea excite you, or scare you away? Notice your reaction. If you don’t like the thought, go back to one thing that is bugging you.
We can all become more organized and efficient one little project at a time. And, may I suggest, just a little happier.
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