Waste Elimination’s Missing Ingrediant…Hatred

Waste.  That is a primary focus of lean implementation.  Find it.  Eliminate it.

Sounds easy, right?  So, why isn’t it being done more effectively?

One word:  Hatred.

People can be trained to see waste.  People have been shown how to observe a process and identify all 7 types of waste and can do it well.  The next step is to take action against.

This is where hatred comes in.  Think about something that is slightly annoying.  Are you likely to take action against it?  Maybe.  In most cases, probably not.  It continues to be an annoyance and that is it.

Now think of something that bugs or upsets you so much that you would use the word hate.  Now do you live with with that?  Maybe.  But in most cases, the emotion is  built up enough that you take action against.

Have you ever seen something so wasteful but so simple to fix that you would be willing to stand there until it was fixed?  That is the level of hatred for waste that needs to be reached.  If we aren’t willing to stand and educate and correct the waste no matter the time it takes then in the end waste wins.

I know hatred is a very strong and powerful word, but that is the feeling we need to have if we want to show how important it is to drive waste out of the business.

The next time you encounter one of the 7 types of waste, ask yourself, “Is this annoying or do I hate it?”

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Posted on July 15, 2011, in Waste and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good point. How about the opposite. When you encounter one of the waste, ask yourself, “do I really love this waste?” It makes me look busy. It makes me look like I’m being responsible. It takes away the stress that something might be harder. It might be harder without the waste. Someone else’s waste frees me up to not be on the floor.

  2. The real opposite, is not learning to hate waste, but to Love Value! There’s a tremendous focus on waste, but perhaps more energy should be spent on understanding and communicating the concept of value throughout the organization.

    Consider that most of your management and support functions are not value-added activities. Shouldn’t they be? (Ideally – yes!) Get those folks thinking about how their organization is a drain on value, and perhaps they begin considering how they can not just eliminate waste, but minimize the value they cause the organization to lose?

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