By setting a perfect standard we can sometimes make the standard impossible to realise. It's much better to set a realistic standard that requires some improvement to achieve but doesn't necessarily ask for perfection all at once.
As I watch our team members explain how they or their team personally changed their own work processes for the better, I am reminded both of how far the culture has come in nearly three years and of the truth that lean culture grows out of the empowerment and commitment of people.
To these leaders, the message is simple. If we waited for others to be doing improvement as a condition for us to do improvement, we would never do improvement. We can only improve ourselves and our own processes and set an example for others. How do we encourage others to improve? By setting the example.
The beauty of this tool is that it helps teams to develop all the parts of a process at once, so that measuring and managing is considered at the same time as developing processes and writing procedures. It's also easily communicated to multiple process users, making it much easier to achieve a standard approach.
The lean world is fairly divided on the legitimacy of 8th Waste - the waste of untapped human potential. To me it’s pretty clear that if you’re following the principles of respect for people, it’s very hard for this waste to exist and in fact, it’s not really waste, it’s just a sign that your fundamentals aren’t in place yet.
In reality, it’s very simple to build a waste elimination culture. The principles are not difficult to grasp, the process is low cost and doesn’t require years of training. The most important principle to remember is that building a waste elimination culture is more about the culture than the waste elimination.
Clutter is the cause of many unpleasant side effects whether it’s in our homes, our minds, our schedule or our work processes.