David Meier on Getting Up and Starting Again

Message Board, direct link to David’s Post (scroll down the page) – the board site is defunct.

Here are some comments by David Meier that were worth reading…

His post began:

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I would have to say that I have seen a trend towards companies that are making a second attempt (or even third attempt for those who were into Just In Time in the ’80s) at lean. I do admire people who get up and give it another shot. That is really what is necessary. It is a never-ending journey and I really try to get people to eliminate the term “failure” or “good/bad” and “right/wrong” from the conversation because there really is no such thing. Basically, you either get the result you desire, or you don’t. Either way you are going to try again and improve, change, modify, to get a new result, so it is just a series of steps continuously improving.

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Anyway I have given some thought to the question of why there seems to be more “failure” with lean implementation than “success” and here are a few observations.

1. Most people (I am going to use people because people make up a company, and a company is really just the people) fail to establish a motivation for implementing lean. I usually start with myself and ask, “Why do I want to do this?” “What is my personal motivation?” Then I need to ask other people, “Why do you care?” You must find out what will motivate other people as well as yourself.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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