Get on your Knees

pres.jpgI just read Mike Wrobleski’s recent post on leadership. It was good but actually sparked another thought in my mind related to a previous post he made some time ago after he went to the, oh I pray I get to go one day, Japan Kaikaku Experience

In his recap of this trip he discussed how this Japanese company, HOKS, does “3S” every day. The idea is that if you do the first 3 S’s everyday the other 2 take care of themselves. Makes sense. Or does it?

When was the last time you got on your hands and knees at work and shined the floor? Personally, I would have to answer – a long, long, time ago before I was Mr. Big Shot Master Black Belt.

The picture above is from Mike’s blog. It is of Mr. Manabe, the President of HOKS, a $50 million company. He is on his hands and knees cleaning before he starts work.

I dare say we can all learn about Value Stream Mapping, Kanban, Heijunka, and all the other nice things about Lean but until each and every one of us, myself included, is willing to get on our knees each morning to shine the floor we will never reach the level of Lean perfection our friends from Japan have.

Until next time, I wish you all the best on your journey towards continuous improvement.

4 Comments

  1. Ron Pereira

    March 9, 2007 - 1:57 pm

    Thanks Tom. I look forward to reading your blog as well. Cheers.

  2. Mike Wroblewski

    March 13, 2007 - 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the link and comments on this topic. I find it difficult to measure up to these high “lead by example” standards also. Mr. Manabe participates in 5S every morning to set the example. It should be noted that all of the management team at his company, HOKS, worked on their 5S tasks for 45 minutes before the scheduled work day.