Volume 1 / Issue 10 / August 1, 2016
“The ability to perceive or think differently, is more important than the knowledge gained.” David Bohm
It’s turning out that Steve Job’s quote, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards” has become a theme this summer. It’s a good one to keep in mind as we prepare for the intensity of this fall, an intensity which may be influenced by a certain election proceeding south of the border! (Hint: They are Canada’s biggest customer).
ATJ has selected a series of articles that share a past initiative we can learn from. For some of you, this series could help you to open an innovative nut you’ve been trying to crack. And should that happen, please be sure to let us know!
The last issue is still generating emails because it transported folks away from their factory world to take a walk around a Lean farm with Jim Womack as he discovered how to explode profitability in the world of agriculture. We chose this issue’s article, which first appeared in the April issue of the 2003 HPM Consortium’s Weekly Update, because it was a reminder to look at what is challenging you from many different perspectives. Author Tony D’Angelo puts it nicely, “You can learn a lot from people who view the world differently than you do.”
To make it interesting, ATJ zeroed in on an initiative that happened 13 years ago on the North Atlantic Ocean east of Newfoundland and Labrador after sailors had sat through a Lean training session organized by CME’s Sean McCarthy.
The session happened because Newfoundland and Labrador’s support teams recognized what Lean could mean for hard-pressed Maritime manufacturers before the year 2000. And good things happened. For example, some of the early Lean appliers were: Terra Shoes who put to work one of the best Toyota Sewing systems anywhere; Abbyshot’s superbly innovative hero-movie clothing designs which now selling in more than 50 countries; Smith’s Snacks, whose Lean introduction saved their company more than a million dollars; Genoa Marine Production Designers who leveraged their knowledge into US Shipyards, and Clearwater’s food processing improvement which provided this issue with a great learning message that our readers will find or have already found to be interesting.
Much has happened over these last 13 years. If you listen closely, you may hear some folks chuckle as they say today, “If you can change the thinking, the processes will look after themselves!” And overheard at another coffee-break was an emphatic pronouncement that, “If Lean works for clam harvesters, food processors, farmers, lights out plants, job shops, seaweed production, or hospitals… it can work anywhere!” If you’re still not convinced, bear in mind that Lean is now being used in the building of vehicles that will take earthlings to mars!
This issue shares a valuable example we can all learn from and apply in our organizations, no matter what we do. ATJ will have more of these kinds of examples for us as we use the time the summer offers us to better prepare for 2017. We do believe that a lot can be learned from folks who view the world differently.