By Jon Miller | Post Date: March 30, 2009 12:35 AM | Comments: 10
Said the President on Sunday:
The US automotive industry has been mean, as well as mean, and it has also been mean. President Obama has a vision that someday the world will say, "Those Americans, they have a mean automotive industry." Confused? Most people who follow lean manufacturing dislike the phrase "lean and mean". Lean manufacturing is a human system that is by no means malicious (mean), average (mean) nor base (mean). In common usage, there is widespread misunderstanding of the word "mean" means in the phrase "lean and mean".
When we say, "She swims with a mean breaststroke" or "He cooks a mean Alfredo sauce" the word "mean" is a word of praise. In the phrase "lean and mean" the first word (lean) means efficient or wasting very little. The usage of "mean" in the phrase means "excellent, accomplished, of great skill, and hard to compete with". So the phrase "lean and mean" signifies "efficient and excellent". Yet since mean is such a versatile word and means so many other things, "lean and mean" is misunderstood. To be lean and mean is a positively good thing.
The Obama administration task force on rescuing the automotive industry has begun the work of making General Motors viable. The removal of its out-of-touch, overpaid, non-performing CEO is a demonstration of mean governance: an excellent move. Hopefully the remainder of decisions will be equally mean (skillful) and never mean (malicious) nor mean (average), if you know what I mean.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.