A Tribute to Loretta

lorettaA tribute to my mother-in-law, Loretta B., a most wonderful woman (28 July 1935 to 2 May 2014).

Loretta’s sayings have always been interesting to me because they reflect various aspects of Lean thinking and doing. Here are a few examples:

  • “Eat one lasagna, make another.” A 15-pound lasagna is itself the kanban card that signals the need for replenishment.
  • “The stroonz at the top.” Leaders who shun the gemba will be viewed unfavorably.
  • “You’re having another beer? How can you be so thirsty?” Consumption should be proportional to actual need, not to what is desired.
  • “You gotta cut it up.” When you have a problem, you have to break it up into smaller pieces.
  • “You have to stick to the basics.” Getting fancy usually does not produce anything substantially better than what can be produced using the basics.
  • “Have some more.” Always be generous, never stingy. Sharing is good.
  • “Finish it.” Don’t linger along and allow things to go unfinished. Get it done so you can move on to the next experiment.
  • “That’s not nice.” Treat people with respect.
  • “Oh crap.” Identification of an abnormal condition.
  • “Give it a good soak.” When you start to get stale, you have to refresh yourself (think and do something new for a while).
  • “You gotta understand.” Repetitive thinking and doing cycles (i.e. PDCA) develop one’s knowledge and capabilities, which deepens one’s understanding. Cannot do a good job if you don’t understand.
  • “Oh, give it a shot.” Experiment and try new things.
  • “They just keep getting bigger.” Heads swell very easily. Must keep them under control.
  • “I’m going to watch you eat.” Observe to assure the planned outcome equals the expected outcome.
  • “Oh, I changed my mind.” New information should result in new direction.


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