Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is going deep not going farther?

Last week, we did process training using the now-famous Toast Kaizen Video.  I've watched this video six or seven times now; it never ceases to amaze me with the adequate and oh-so-accessible approach to understanding waste. 
In particular, it struck me this time how important it is to make actual observations of the process in action.  There is no substitute to watching, with my own eyes, if I expect to make a contribution myself.  I learned something new.  It helped. A lot. 
This process of reviewing and going deeper is central.  The more I learn about Lean, the more I realize I don't know.  I have to catch myself, therefore, when I speak with others who have, perhaps, participated in one or two kaizen events and then moan about wanting to "move on" to the next topic.  I want to respect those people and accept their questions politely.  Yet a part of me has a tendency to say "NO" and then give an unrequested lecture on going deep, learning a single subject in all its substance rather than lightly skimming many subjects. 
I'll do my best to not do this to you.  so long as you remember going deeper IS going farther. 
Keep learning. 


Mark Welch said...

We love that video at our hospital. Great for demonstrating the wastes and how they apply with just about any process. It's been awhile since I actually watched the whole thing, but some of the principles of SMED are also evident in what he does.

Tim McMahon said...

We use this video as well. We share it with customers and suppiers so they have some understanding of what Lean means. Have you checked out there new video using this idea (toast) to teach value stream maps?

Tim McMahon

A Certain Man said...

It reminds me of the end of the Chronicles of Narnia where Aslan exclaims, "Further in, and further out" in reference to exploring eternity. The more you intentionally seek, the more you see. I think this act might be more important than the focusing itself, as the video suggests. It sounds like they might be pushing a corporate idea that cements a worker to his task with the promise of a light at the end. If we want more engaged, focused, and satisfied workers, community ideals rather than individualistic ones have the best long term effectiveness and rewards while also instilling firmer ethics.