By Jon Miller | Post Date: September 30, 2006 9:27 AM | Comments: 5
For the next 31 days there will be no mention of the word "Lean" in the posts on this blog. There will still be discussion on the subject, but no mention of the word itself. It will be an experiment with other ways of expressing or explaining what is commonly called "Lean".
What brought this on? While in Brazil a few weeks ago I was humbled by a wise man who pointed out how we had failed in communicating the benefits for the Toyota system to his team. Fortunately they are still trying to learn ways to copy the Toyota Production System, but at the moment not from us. One of the perceived root causes was the use of the word "Lean" and the many associations that come with it.
We have never thought of ourselves as Lean manufacturing consultants. Lean may be a short cut to explaining what we do to a market that looks for labels, but it is insufficient. Kaizen as an action and as a philosophy has always had more currency for us. As the words "Lean manufacturing" have come into mainstream use, we have become lazy in thinking about what it really is that clients really need and what we really have to offer. That was the humbling lesson from Brazil.
So for the month of October 2006 there will be no mention of the word "Lean" on this blog and there will be deeper reflection of what people who use this world are really trying to acheive when we use the word Lean. I have no idea what this exercise will yield. Perhaps some new insights, no doubt an awkward circumlocution or two. Tune in to find out and to contribute to the discussion.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.