Friday, March 02, 2012

"Things are a mess"

John Shook recently wrote on the occasion of Taiichi Ohno's 100th birthday:

As Ohno says in The Birth of Lean: "If you're going to do kaizen continuously, you've got to assume that things are a mess."

Brilliant.  If everything is OK, I have no need to improve.   

Why is this hard for us to do??  Is it our culture of self-esteem, holding "feeling good about ourselves" as a supreme value? Do we simply compare ourselves to ourselves, so we always look OK?  Are we all from Lake Wobegon, the ficticious Minnesota town where all of the children are above average?

A view of a zero-waste state will shake us out of this arrogant stupor.  With that perspective, things are indeed a mess.

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