Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Kaizen, real time

Kaizen, real time


My brain is half-fried and I'm tired and I couldn't feel better.  We are partially through a kaizen event, which I am enjoying along with four eager-to-contribute colleagues.  What a day. 


And here are 6 reasons why the fatigue feels so good.


1.       We blocked out time and focused.  Which is what a kaizen event is.  We said "no" to a hundred other things and did one important thing.

2.       Kaizen makes a rich seedbed for learning.  By doing it in a different place, in a different way, we saw things we hadn't seen before.  In a familiar setting, we would have missed some profoundly simple things we saw today.

3.       I have a greater appreciation for others' example.  I'm a very, very fortunate fellow, to have had the gift of many others teaching me, directly or indirectly.  As such, at several times today, I could apply others' learnings and mistakes to help direct our efforts.

4.       We learned about each other, as people.  I had a marvelous conversation with one colleague as we worked at an assignment all afternoon.  This builds trust, ever so necessary in the high-change environment required to move to world-class manufacturing.

5.       It all happens in the workplace.  I have learned to never hold a kaizen event in an office.  And we didn't...we gathered and worked in the exact place we targeted for improvement.  Wow.  Forget the donuts and soft chairs and woodwork.  Gimme hard plastic chairs and makeshift workplaces anytime.

6.       Do it now.  At mid-day, we needed some physical supplies for a task.  Boom, I ran out over lunch to a local store.  15 minutes and $20 later, I had all the stuff we needed.  Forget the long ordering process...go do it.  Now.  Kaizen builds this.


I'm tired and happy.  A good way to go home. 


I hope this is helpful.   

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