We’re finishing up the final touches on a new course over at Gemba Academy called “Lean Lingo Explained.”
In this course Brad Schmidt, the managing partner of Gemba Japan, explains what several lean terms mean in great detail.
One of the words Brad covers is muda. Most of us refer to this word as waste… and it is.
But, like many lean terms, the word muda has a much deeper meaning when you study the Japanese Kanji.
No Money in Muda
As it turns out, the characters on the left that make mu actually mean ‘nothingness.’ And the characters on the right that make da mean ‘money.’ Click the image above for a larger view.
So, in essence, muda literally means ‘no money’ which makes perfect sense when you think about what muda is… we’re doing work that our customer’s aren’t willing to pay us for!
Never Stop Learning
The thing I love about lean is how I personally never stop learning. You see, I’ve been practicing lean for awhile and feel, at times, I have a decent grasp on things.
Then I listen to someone like Brad talk and realize how little I know. You see, Brad has probably forgotten more about lean than I will ever know. It’s humbling, yet inspiring.
The lesson? Never ever stop learning.