Lean is Patient, Lean is Kind

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Today I’m linking to a guest post that I wrote for my friend Marc Rouppe van der Voort who works at St. Elisabeth Hospital (Tilburg, Netherlands) and has a blog in  Dutch  (with auto Google translation). Marc used to maintain a separate blog in  English  (which he stopped because Google does such a good job he can blog just in Dutch… a Kaizen opportunity he took advantage of).

I’ve written before about my admiration for the St. Elisabeth philosophy of “loving care,” which is supported by Lean. Marc asked me to write a post with my thoughts on the subject.

Gastblog van Mark Graban: Loving Care  (in English)

In the post, I take what Christina Kach did one step further by thinking of the entire Corinthians passage from the Bible (the one often used at weddings) that starts with “Love is patient, love is kind.”

In the post for Marc, I re-wrote it with the word “respect” as that’s more acceptable in the workplace than the word “love” would be (even in a platonic sense)… even though Dr. Stephen Covey told me when I interviewed him that “respect for people” (as Toyota would say) means that we are caring toward others.

For this blog, I’m re-writing it again with the word “Lean” in place of “love.” I think it works beautifully (and accurately):

“Lean is patient, Lean is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Lean does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

You can read my entire guest post for Marc here. Feel free to comment there or here.

The adapted quotation works when an organization is practicing “real Lean” (as Bob Emiliani calls it) and not “fake Lean” (his term) or L.A.M.E. (my term).


mark graban lean blog Lean is Patient, Lean is Kind 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 Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus.

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  1. I recently was a guest presenter on Lean Management at a Process Excellent Summit by World Vision in Kenya. The Devotion we did at the beginning of the Summit was on 1 Corinthians 12:3-8a (love is patient love is kind), the group was asked how this passage of scripture related to continuous improvement. It was fantastic. I strongly recommend using this scripture when trying to embrace Christian organizations on adopting Lean Thinking.
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