Patrick Graupp Article: The Human Element of Lean

One the most striking excerpts from this TWI article:

"It is commonly believed that this philosophy of engaging people in how to do the work came to us from Japan, when interest in Japanese management took off in the early 1980s. At that time, the notion of asking operators their ideas and opinions was quite revolutionary – though I suspect that good American supervisors had surreptitiously been doing it all along. The funny thing is that when I got to Japan in late 1980, the Japanese managers I met were dumbfounded at all the attention being given to their management practices. 'Why is that?' they asked. 'You taught us everything we know.' ”

All of this makes me think: this lean stuff isn't rocket science, but sometimes we sure can make it feel that way.

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