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Dilbert Again Illustrates Why Kaizen Doesn’t Happen

by Mark Graban on October 19, 2011 · 5 comments

There’s a great book on Kaizen and continuous improvement called All You Gotta Do Is Ask Dilbert Again Illustrates Why Kaizen Doesnt Happen lean. With all due to respect to the book, asking is just the first step and the asking has to be done the right way.

We see, in Sunday’s Dilbert, that the pointy-haired boss asks for ideas and then does just about everything possible to squash participation:

134933.strip.sunday Dilbert Again Illustrates Why Kaizen Doesnt Happen lean

What other leadership behaviors do you see that keep people from participating in Kaizen? Sadly (and not surprisingly), Dilbert’s boss blames the people, not the system (and certainly doesn’t look in the mirror as  enlightened  and self-aware leaders would do).

Mark Graban 2011 Smaller Dilbert Again Illustrates Why Kaizen Doesnt Happen leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evan Durant October 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Putting the NO in INNOVATION!


2 Patrick Adams October 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

“We don’t have time.” I hear that statement coming from management all the time.
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3 Mark Graban
October 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

That’s why I say “lack of time is a problem statement, not an excuse.”



4 David M. Kasprzak October 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Thanks, Mark. The Dilbert strip points out, once again, why things are so busted It’s the Mura + Muri problem all over again, isn’t it? There’s a meeting called (Mura) where the employees are asked to come up with ideas on the spot (intellectual muri), only to be criticized when they don’t have the “right” ideas (emotional muri again), and given an increased workload to complete the project (mura + all kinds of muri).

Sad thing is, the people in that room probably had many, many ideas – it’s just the disillusionment, distrust and fear that prevent them from expressing what they know or believe.
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5 Mike Stewart December 21, 2011 at 9:06 am

@Mark Graban

I have to agree, time management is essential.
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