Volume 1 / Issue 4 / May 9, 2016
Taking initiative Skill4
A lean enterprise can’t afford to have people sitting around waiting to be told what to do and how to do it.
One of the keys to becoming lean is to identify waste and to take the initiative to eliminate it quickly. In a lean enterprise you don’t study the problem, assemble a group of high-level experts to develop recommendations then send the recommendations out for competitive bid. Lean people see the waste in their area of responsibility, talk it over among themselves and take the initiative to fix it now.
Taking the initiative to fix problems means setting goals. Taking the initiative to set your own goals does no good if you can’t figure out how to achieve those goals. Lean people have the skills to create plans to achieve their goals. Setting goals and creating plans are great, but lean people must know how to execute their plans. Lean people understand and use basic plan management techniques like setting realistic time-lines and anticipating obstacles so they can be avoided. They know how to execute their plans by prioritizing their daily activities and working on the critical few instead of the trivial many.
One of the biggest wastes in any company is poor personal productivity. Lean people take the initiative to maximize their productivity, manage their time, and stay organized. This old skill set takes on much greater importance given the independence of work in a lean enterprise.
Lean people eliminate waste at the personal level as well as the enterprise level.
Source: AFEE Manufacturing Consortium Weekly Update, October 10, 2005