What is the Deadliest Waste in Lean?

employee engagement lean lean six sigma opex strategy Apr 05, 2024
What is the Deadliest Waste in Lean?

Introduction to Lean Philosophy:

  • Lean philosophy revolves around waste elimination, a central idea aimed at improving efficiency and value delivery.
  • The episode emphasizes the importance of understanding and addressing waste in all its forms to achieve organizational excellence.


Types of Waste in Lean Manufacturing:

  • Waste is categorized into seven classic types: transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over processing, overproduction, and defects.
  • Each type of waste represents activities or resources that do not contribute directly to the creation of value for the customer.


The Eighth Waste:

  • The episode introduces the concept of the eighth waste, which pertains to the waste of people's time, creativity, and potential.
  • This waste, also known as the waste of a wasted life, highlights the importance of respecting and utilizing employees' capabilities effectively.


Origins of the Eighth Waste:

  • References are made to Ig Toyota, a key figure in the development of the Toyota Production System (TPS), where Lean principles were first observed.
  • Ig Toyota's perspective underscores the significance of valuing employees' time and contribution to the organization's success.


Impact of Wasted Life in Organizations:

  • The episode delves into the consequences of wasting employees' time, citing statistics such as low engagement rates and reasons for professionals leaving their jobs.
  • Emphasis is placed on the emotional toll experienced by disengaged employees who feel their lives are being underutilized in their workplace.


Engaging Employees in Continuous Improvement:

  • Kaizen, the practice of continuous improvement, is highlighted as a key strategy for engaging employees in meaningful work.
  • The focus is on involving employees in activities like waste elimination, maintaining excellent housekeeping, and abnormality control to create value for customers.


Benefits of Eliminating the Eighth Waste:

  • Increased profitability is cited as a benefit of engaging employees effectively, with organizations that prioritize employee engagement being 21% more profitable.
  • The moral obligation to respect employees' potential and utilize their skills efficiently is emphasized as a fundamental principle in Lean philosophy.


Importance of Respect for People:

  • Lean principles underscore the necessity of respecting and valuing employees as a foundational element for achieving world-class results.
  • The episode stresses that organizations cannot reach their full potential without recognizing and harnessing the talents and creativity of their workforce.


Course Forward:

  • The importance of making Lean education accessible and engaging is highlighted to empower organizations to unlock the full potential of their employees.
  • The overarching message emphasizes the transformative potential of Lean principles in unlocking the value and potential within every individual in the workplace.

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