What is Lean?

Everyone enjoys working with a well-run company, whether it is Southwest Airlines or Harley Davidson. People enjoy efficient, effective organizations. The enemy is waste! It exists in all of our lives, every day, in everything we do.  To get a humorous, yet revealing look at how waste surrounds us, watch this 2-minute Lean Burrito video:

At FastCap, we have been able to build a strong culture of lean thinkers by implementing a daily morning meeting. To learn more watch this quick 5-minute video.  During the meeting, team members will be taught what waste looks like, how to eliminate it, and what continuous improvement looks like. To learn more about continuous improvement, watch this quick 5-minute video on the FastCap morning improvement walk. The key is to teach team members to improve and eliminate waste in small increments each and every day. Each team member will be asked to find waste and to implement solutions for them. The goal is to turn every team member into a world-class problem solver who seeks and destroys waste every day.

What is Kaizen?

Wondering where I got the concept for the 2 Second Lean? Well, I am fanatical about the principles of Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese word that translates closely to “continuous improvement” in English. In Japanese culture, Kaizen has been around for thousands of years. The reaches of Kaizen extend not just to manufacturing, but also to healthcare, government and other industries. Kaizen can be applied to all parts of the workplace, and at my company, FastCap, I have challenged the people to make at least one 2-second improvement each day. From the shop floor to the warehouse, to the office, we are continually striving to eliminate waste (lean manufacturing) and thereby improve everything we do. By making daily, continuous improvements we make our workplace and our lives better. Small improvements made continually yield large results.

The ideals of kaizen and lean are embodied by the FastCap 22 principles:

  1. What is the purpose of FastCap? Grow People.
  2. FastCap is always looking for a way to make things… Safety, Quality, Simpler, Faster.
  3. Winston Churchill said these words… “Action This Day”.
  4. When we walk away from something we… “Leave It Better Than You Found It”.
  5. Our job title is… Process Engineer.
  6. Everything of value comes after… Much hard work.
  7. Our goal each day is to make one… 2 second improvement.
  8. The most powerful word in the human language is… A Person’s Name.
  9. Enjoy your day to the fullest by… Doing the Hard thing First.
  10. To understand the real issue, we must ask… Why 5 times.
  11. When discussing a problem, we need to… Go and See.
  12. What must we do if we want to understand our actions? Hansei (reflect).
  13. Real learning comes when you ask… Questions.
  14. What did Bob Taylor say? Responsible for things and people.
  15. “I’ll trade all the intelligence in the world for someone with… vision”.
  16. Toyota improves with the target of…Cut the waste in half.
  17. 2 sides to holding each other accountable. Both giving & receiving person should be humble.
  18. Your success at FastCap will be determined by the fact that you are… Never Satisfied.
  19. Toyota’s success is the result of the relentless pursuit of … Building a Culture.
  20. How do you make a vision stick? Cast it over and over. Repetition.
  21. There are two kinds of people in the world: Givers and Takers.
  22. According to Bob Taylor anything worth doing is… worth doing poorly