I had a conversation with another experienced lean person (she is in the auto industry) who commented about how she once saw a business card with a title that was eye-catching:
“Director of Discipline”
How many of our lean efforts are stumbling, crumbling, or failing because of a lack of discipline? I would define discipline simply “doing what you say you will do.” I see companies where management generally has a short attention span, which hampers the nuts and bolts execution of lean practices.
The fundamentals of lean are built around discipline. 5S is a systematic method that requires discipline on the part of all involved — the workers who organize and maintain their workplaces, but also from managers who are responsible for overseeing, coaching, and auditing 5S methods (one of the S's is “sustain” — that is the discipline step). When things get out of place, does management have the discipline to routinely be walking the shopfloor and (more importantly) pointing out problems as they are seen?
What do you think? What are your experiences? Click “Comments” to see more of my thoughts and to add your own comments.
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