Friday, August 20, 2004

The Two Great Wastes

The Two Great Wastes


Hal Macomber and Greg Howell have added to our understanding of Lean with an important new paper, discussed recently on Hal's blog.  The paper, The Two Great Wastes in Organizations proposes that Not Listening and Not Speaking are the fundamental human problems that contribute to waste of people, just as the now-famous Seven Wastes describe how we waste material.


I'm going to be writing more on this in the weeks to come.  Hal and Greg allowed me to read early versions of the manuscript starting about 18 months ago and I've been testing this in my own job since.  Indeed, they added one of my summaries in an appendix to the paper. 


We often talk about the difficulty on the human side of a Lean implementation.  "They just don't understand!"  "No one wants to change!"  And we wring our hands and wonder where all the good people are. 


The good people are with us.  And, in framing the problem as Wastes of Not Listening and Not Speaking, we can then use many familiar Lean tools to make improvements. 


I'll share more of how I'm approaching it.  In the meantime, do read the paper and leave some comments on it here or for Hal's blog.  Feel free to forward the link to the paper to others. 


This is hugely helpful to me...I hope it is to you as well. 


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