Sometimes, organizations, departments or people are just not ready for lean working or some other quality improvement program. There is no sense of urgency, the vision hasn’t change and there is no true mission, set aside some buzz words. Or the management is doing lean instead of being lean.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Master Yoda
Believe it or not, but this quote had a huge impact on my life. Better to do and fail (for the purpose of learning), than trying. Trying implies that the action in itself is executed half-hearted, with failure as predicted outcome. Because of the half-hearted execution, the action will fail and so it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That said, I find it hard to maintain my ‘eternal student’ point of view in a non-lean environment. The organization I work in is huge and consists of a lot of different personalities. I am in no position to influence the decision makers. The only thing I can is to ‘do’ lean to myself and hope it will spread like an oil stain on water. Currently, I find myself constantly balancing the fine line between ‘Do’ and ‘Try’.
So… what is next? I could crawl back in a dark corner and complain about the unfairness of the world. This seems, I must admit, sometimes a very viable option to me. Especially when company politics come around again.
But then, in lean, there is no giving up. There is trying (example in kaizen circles to test a new idea), there is failure, there is learning and there is trying again with adjusted parameters. Therefore, I have created my own PDCA-cycle. This is useful for me when the idea of a dark corner comes around to keep my focus. I want to share this with you, for it may help you define your steps.
On my whiteboard, I have drawn my roadmap and north star with challenging yet reasonable goals. These visuals keep me on the right side of the Do and Try line. They tell me where I am and what needs attention. Lean in a micro-environment, so to say, to keep the system in my mind.
Which reminds me… It’s my study time.