Abnormal Conditions and Lean Oddities

Some Abnormal Conditions vs. Normal Conditions

Abnormal Condition Normal Condition
VP of Continuous Improvement All executives engaged in kaizen
Learn Lean using games and simulations Learn Lean by doing kaizen at the genba
Creating value stream maps in a conference room Improve processes via genba kaizen
Bronze, silver, gold levels for Lean achievement  Kaizen forever
Lean Six Sigma (and belts) Lean management (hands & brains, not belts)
 Estimating change-over time Measuring changeover time using stopwatch
Can be Lean without kaizen No Lean without genba kaizen
Layoffs due to Lean Job security due to Lean

And Some Lean Oddities

  • Leader standard work in the form of a daily to-do list is seen as acceptable (i.e. standard work without standard work combination sheets).
  • Lean movement leaders never understood genba kaizen and therefore largely ignored it. Tsk-tsk.
  • Lean tools, but not kaizen.
  • One CEO thought Lean was simply process mapping and process re-engineering.
  • Another CEO thought Lean was a nuance to six sigma.
  • Yet another CEO thought Lean meant cutting thousands of jobs, consolidated manufacturing operations, and relying more on outsourcing.
  • Executives think that Lean certifications mean people know what they are doing.
  • Many leaders think “continuous improvement” equals higher stock price.
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