Last week I was watching a video from Paul Akers, Lean Maniac, founder and president of FastCap LLC and author of 2 Second Lean. On that video, he passionately described lean as simple and fun. That description makes me smile.
During my personal lean journey, I worked with different consultants and lean practitioners. They all have one thing in common, regardless of their experience and knowledge, in my opinion, they complicated things too much. I was thinking all the time that we should keep things simple. People have different preferred ways to learn but most of us like to receive information in a simple way. The simple the better to understand and learn. When you understand things, you will see how useful they are and as you try and see that they work, you definitely have fun.
People don’t need to know the history behind lean, not thousands of examples of situations that are not familiar to them, not formulas or complicated programs. All they need to know is the basics. The basics of lean are simple: respect for people and continuous improvement. By doing those two things we will eliminate waste, improve quality and by default improve customer satisfaction and reduce operational costs.
We show respect when we genuinely ask how we can help to make our employees’ tasks easier and work with them to eliminate the burden from their processes. When they actively participate in the improvement process, having the chance to bring their point of view and implement their ideas, they go home feeling that they accomplish something,. By giving them the tools to apply continuous improvement on their areas we also give them the tools to have fun while they work, being creative, have some control of the process and learn things that may be used on their personal lives.