I remember, years ago, watching my oldest child struggle in his attempt to loosen a bolt. This was one of those all too few, brief, and shining child-rearing moments where I could easily and quickly share some trusty words of wisdom. “Righty tighty, lefty loosey.” I’m pretty sure that my son’s response was somewhere in the vicinity of, “Huh?” Not the effect that I was looking for necessarily. …Nevertheless, I’m going to try to apply the same advice, but to a different subject (totally without threaded parts). Strategy deployment (a.k.a. policy deployment, hoshin kanri, etc.). Huh?
OK, I know that what I’m about to say may sound cynical, but 20 years of personal, hard knock lean experience tells me that this is reality. And most folks I think would, or at least should (I hope), agree with me. The majority of companies pursuing a lean implementation do so superficially. (Did I just hear you yawn?!) Many fail to understand the transformational lean principles, much less have the will to rigorously live them.
This question is typically posed in response to a question that is deemed a bit nosey. It’s actually more of a statement. Along the lines of, “Mind you own business!” But, for the purpose of this post, it really is a question - one of, and for, the lean leader’s self-reflection. What truly is the purpose of the questions that we ask? Granted that we must always consider the particular situation, the intent of our questions says a lot about our own lean leadership effectiveness.
Leonardo da Vinci’s quote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” could easily serve as a lean tagline.
Surely, lean tools, like standard work, visual controls, and mistake proofing devices, are only truly effective if they are easily explained, understood, deployed, maintained, and adjusted. Heck, lean principles are simple too, just hard to implement.
A friend and colleague provided me with this tattoo parlor photo. He was passing by and just couldn't resist the irony of it all.
The lack of permanence around the sign construction makes the whole thing even more entertaining.