Tips for Lean Managers

That’s What I Call Cosmic Irony

By Jon Miller Published on August 22nd, 2006

What do you call it when a meeting of the Lean manufacturing leaders from around the globe gets cancelled at the last minute by the senior leadership of the organization, citing “business needs”? I call it cosmic irony.
One of our consultants was scheduled to participate in a such workshop with a client, with the aim of making the Lean implementation more effective in their factories. But something else more important came up and this meeting has been called off for the moment. In business as in life, things change. Fair enough.
Here is a definition of cosmic irony I pulled from Wikipedia:
Cosmic irony is a sharp incongruity between our expectations of things and what actually occurs, as if the universe were mocking us.
The whole purpose of such a Lean leadership workshop is to make the Lean transformation more effective. The whole purpose of a Lean transformation is to change the culture of the organization to one that supports continuous improvement. The whole purpose of continuous improvement is to be better able to take care of… business needs.

  1. Mahatma Gandhi

    August 28, 2006 - 1:21 pm

    A 5 billion dollar group with “Lean” as its operating principles, had a foundry, machinig and assembly all under the same roof with a sheet metal operation within 50 miles of its plant. Some smart Alec with appalling Excel skills but smooth talking skills who also happens to be one of the VPs convinces them to shut down assembly move it 700 miles away down south along with the sheet metal operation.
    What do you think happenned next?
    Comic Irony!

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