Are you a Lean thinker? Can you have a perfect Lean system?

This question may surprise you because no waste is difficult to visualize. To be asked “Can you truly be Lean?” may sound like it comes from someone who doesn’t know what lean really is.

But does that matter? Are you really?

Your answer to this question although seemingly transparent, belies another, greater question.

What is Lean?

According to Stephen Weller in his book, The Progressive Machine, Before we called it Lean,

“Lean can’t be perfected.”

Why not? Don’t we have a general understanding of what Lean is? After all, that’s what this topic is about!

You see, Stephen illustrates this statement further with the explanation that Lean involves constant improvement. So to claim one is TRULY LEAN would be impossible!

An example would be like to use humility. Once one claims that they’re truly humble, they’re not! Although they may be considered by everyone else as humble, and it may be true they have a true sense of humility, one cannot fully achieve this AND honestly think that they’ve done it!

2 Responses

  1. Pursuing perfection can help create a continuous improvement culture made up of Lean thinkers with a goal of achieving excellence. Balanced humility and respect goes a long way to help this culture of empowerment flourish.

  2. A quote that Stephen uses regularly, “Persist and Progress” applies here.
    With continous improvement we better not just what’s around us, but ourselves. This can effect every part of our lives! The only thing holding it back is our own application. Of course, there’s a mindset or heart condition required for this. Thus the humility and respect mentioned above!

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