The Tenth Waste – continued

Posted by Norman Bodek on Feb.21, 2014

Reaching For It 2We started this series by describing the first waste of inventory where I believe Taiichi Ohno first focused on establishing the Toyota Production System.  I would like to cover all 10 wastes with you but first I would like to have you think, “What is the 10th waste?” What do you think stands in the way of you and your company being successful in this highly competitive world; what do you think stands in the way for your company becoming completely Lean?

I will give you a hint for I feel the 10th waste lies in our current management system. Every company in order to survive has highly competent and skillful people that really want to do a superior job for themselves and for their company, but most people feel restrained. I believe our current management system is filled with “brakes,” that prevent people from doing the superior jobs that they are capable of doing.

In the West, we have a top-down management system where decisions are made by people with power, not necessarily from people with the most knowledge.  At least, Toyota managers go to the “Genba,” to see firsthand problems before they make decisions. A much better method would be to ask the people with the best knowledge to help determine the policy and direction for the company.

I know of a one organization that wants to solve their major strategic problems that continually tells people what to do to get what they want.  “We have to reduce costs!” “Stop training people!” “Stop using outside consultants.” “Stop, stop, stop.”  This caustic direction just stops creativity and forces fear within the environment. Everyone appears afraid to make a wrong decision.

A much better way is to simply present the vision and the strategic problems to the workforce, the people with the knowledge, and ask them, “What do you need to help us attain our goals.” “How can I help you do your job better?”

And, then listen and see if you can cipher out what the corporation needs to move ahead properly, judiciously and successfully. A manager should be your coach focusing on developing people to their highest capability instead of being a “boss,” always telling you what to do.

Ohno, had a different way.  He would point out a problem, “You have too many people in your department, see if you can run it with half the number?”  He might ask you to do it in six months and then walk away.  He didn’t tell you how to do it but simply challenged you.  At first, you might have thought is was impossible to do but look at the enormous success of Toyota over the past 50 years based on this different kind of management style.  Leaders set the vision and recognize that work is done successfully by their employees.

 

 

 


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We started this series by describing the first waste of inventory where I believe Taiichi Ohno first focused on establishing the Toyota Production System.  I would like to cover all 10 wastes with you but first I would like to have you think, “What is the 10th waste?” What do you think stands in the [...]

About HaradaBlog.org: Mr. Bodek, who was once called "Mr. Productivity" by Industry Week Magazine and "Mr. Lean" by Quality Progress Magazine, said his most powerful discovery was the way Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the infinite creative potential often lying dormant inside every single worker. links back to the book site

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