5S Blog Post

Back to Basics and a Little Humor

Special thanks to lean extraordinaire Mark Graban for giving us all a good laugh and something to reflect on.

Back to Basics

While we laugh and enjoy this video, it should be no surprise that this is an all too common occurrence within organizations trying to implement lean.

5S and lean are supposed to make things better for your organization and your customers. It’s supposed to help innovate and create ways to engage employees in the culture. Employees who believe in and are willing to put in the work to ensure the company’s long-term success through continuous improvement activities.

What it’s not supposed to be, is something that is so overbearing and tedious that employees are turned off from the start. Time and time again we have seen a top-down directive that comes from “experts,” fail. When you expect a certain behavior, but fail to model the behavior yourself, expect failure to follow.

We sometimes overlook the fundamentals and miss the initial goals of lean and 5S. Proper implementation is such a key factor for gaining employee engagement and lean success. Without an engaged team your chances of sustaining a lean transformation are slim to none. Going over-the-top, like this video shows is a complete turn off for employees and creates confusion as to what benefits, if any are to come from lean? Instead of focusing on the true benefits of lean, the staff is questioning why they have to remove their family photos from their desk.

Once they become disengaged with the process, it’s a long up hill battle to get them engaged. Chances are though, you’ve lost them for good. Remember, the culture you hope to influence and guide starts at day one. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make a change. Your company, staff, and most importantly, your customers depend on it.

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