Mark Graban just posted an article about LEI’s newest book. Looks to be sort of like the Lean Lexicon but with blog-like quotes. Mark shared one of the excerpts from the book.
“Lean should not have ‘changed’ anyone’s life! If it has, you’ve done it incorrectly. Lean should be constantly ‘changing’ your life – pushing you to the next level regardless of where you may happen to be today.” — Tom Truxell, Rexnord, Assembly Supervisor, Virginia USA
Since I have been studying philosophy as of late I pondered this comment from Mr. Truxell for a bit. At first glance I was drawn to completely agree with him. I have long preached how continuous improvement is just that – continuous. And as such the change, for lack of a better word, should never end.
On the other hand… I for one can tell you that lean and six sigma have indeed changed my life. I began my career in an entry level role 13+ years ago and now am a director of manufacturing where I am charged with, among other things, improving things with lean and six sigma. So to say lean and six sigma have not changed my life is ridiculous.
Man with 4 Kids
Further, if you ask the fellow with 4 kids who still has a job because his company bucked the trend and decided to stay competitive by “getting lean” instead of closing the plant in search of cheap labor I reckon he would tell you lean changed his life.
It’s a Question of Tense
So while I agree with the idea that we are never done improving I do think it’s OK to acknowledge the great things lean and six sigma can do for us as individuals as well as for our companies.
In other words I personally believe it’s healthy to talk about how lean and six sigma have helped us (past tense), are helping us (present tense), and will hopefully continue to help us (future tense).
What do you think?
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