Dilbert Again Illustrates Why Kaizen Doesn’t Happen

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There's a great book on Kaizen and continuous improvement called All You Gotta Do Is Ask. 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

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).

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

5 Comments
  1. Evan Durant says

    Putting the NO in INNOVATION!

  2. Patrick Adams says

    “We don’t have time.” I hear that statement coming from management all the time.

    1. Mark Graban says

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

      https://www.leanblog.org/2011/09/lack-of-time-for-kaizen-is-a-problem-statement-not-an-excuse/

  3. David M. Kasprzak says

    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.

  4. Mike Stewart says

    @Mark Graban

    I have to agree, time management is essential.

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