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Lean Monday Morning Message – July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010


“Praise does wonder for our sense of hearing.” – Arnold Glasow

I remember helping a company on a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Kaizen Event around a machine early in their Lean journey. The team did a fantastic job making improvements and changes. Near the end of the event before the closeout I asked the supervisor what he would like to do to recognize the team for their efforts.  With agitation in his voice he replied,  “Nobody around here ever tells anyone they did a good job. You only hear about it if you screw things up.” I asked, how come? He said “That’s they way it’s always been.” I could sense his frustration that his bosses never told him when he did a good job. I asked “Then why don’t you start?” He immediately replied “Because no one here does that!” I asked again, “Why don’t you start doing it?” He didn’t have an answer. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want to tell the team that they did a good job on the TPM Event. It was so in deeply ingrained into their history that he wasn’t willing to be the one to stop to change this portion of their culture. The good news is that we talked for a little while and he did decide that he should thank everyone on the team and to make sure that he publically recognized their tremendous efforts during the close-out meeting where he knew his bosses would be in attendance.

So let’s take a minute to let people know that they are doing something that is praiseworthy, that their contribution counts, that they are making positive changes for their workplace.

To everyone at 5S Supply, I want to thank you for our success!

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