By Jon Miller | Post Date: November 16, 2006 7:05 PM | Comments: 2
If Lean for Toyota is "kaizen and respect for people" we need to spend some time understanding what makes people work as well as what makes kaizen work.
To that end, there are some very interesting findings at the Psychology Matters website. The results of the research on a group of New York City seventh-graders suggests that Believing You Can Get Smarter Makes You Smarter.
From the research summary on Psychology Matters:
Thinking about intelligence as changeable and malleable, rather than stable and fixed, results in greater academic achievement, especially for people whose groups bear the burden of negative stereotypes about their intelligence.
Simply telling people that they can get smarter helps people get smarter. By the same token, simply telling people that they can get Lean will help make them Leaner.
The research summary asks:
Can people get smarter? Are some racial or social groups smarter than others? Despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, many people believe that intelligence is fixed, and, moreover, that some racial and social groups are inherently smarter than others.
Despite growing evidence to the contrary, some people believe that Lean really does not apply to their industry, their culture, their region or some other particular unique characteristic. Are some nations or some types of industries inherently more capable of improving their performance?
Nonsense. It's all between your ears. This is why having the kaizen philosophy is more important than having a combined PhD in Industrial Engineering and HR Development.
- 5S your area and your productivity will increase by 30%
- Give me one practical improvement idea per month and I will help you implement it
- Observe any process for 10 minutes and you can find 10 small things to improve
- Practice makes perfect
- Share your work with someone and you fill finish it more than twice as fast
You can quote me on these.
My father taught choir for many years. He once told me how he was able to help a singer hit a high note even though the singer insisted he could not sing such a high note. My father did this by first telling the singer it was possible and then guiding him note by note. Yet the singer was angry at my father when he learned that he had hit an "impossible" high note.
This reaction may seem odd, but it's one I am familiar with. Sometimes peoples' perceptions about who they are and what they can do is more important that what they can become. Who they are is the result of the years of effort, learning and achievement (or simply living). To have a teacher tell them and show them they can do better can harm a person's self-image. "You've mean I've been doing it the stupid way for 25 years?" is not an uncommon reaction.
In my early days of consulting many factory managers twice my age had a problem when I helped them sing at a higher note than they though was possible. Most people say they are in favor of improvement. Yet few people actually want to be changed. This is also why believing you can get Lean makes you Leaner. It's you that's getting Lean, not me that's making you Lean.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.