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#Toyota, #Respect for #People (or “Humanity”) and #Lean — Lean Blog

March 5th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I think you will spend 50 seconds reading this post

Mark Graban did a very nice recollection of posts on Respect for People and what it means in Lean after John Seddon comment on it being ‘horse sh*t’. Here’s the article: Toyota, Respect for People (or “Humanity”) and Lean — Lean Blog.

I would add my 2 cents here by saying that respect not only is everyday showing of a nice attitude to people (also known as “politeness”), but also a longer term view of the thing where we want people to be part of a great work place (safe and interesting) and that their work has meaning.

  • So to maintain the interesting and the meaningful parts of the job, we remove waste (mura (uneveness), muda (non added value) and muri (burden)) to focus on added value.
  • And to ensure that it’s done properly (not from a manager in his ivory tower) and to develop people’s intelligence, we have the people do kaizen (continuous improvement) themselves.

Is that too difficult to understand?!


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  • You make some good points, but I don’t think “respect” is about being “nice” or “polite” in a Lean/TPS context. Sometimes, respect means challenging people to do better… because you believe in them and you’re willing to work with them to help them succeed. Sometimes, that seems more like being “tough” than “nice.”

  • Hello Mark

    You’re right it’s of course not just about ‘nice’, it’s about constantly challenging people because we know they can do wonders provided we don’t let them fall into self indulgence. Just for their own benefit even when they don’t know it… Yet.

    Still I find a lot of people who mistake being challenging with being rough if not rude.

    I’m in line with St Exupery’s quote that if you want people to build a ship, you don’t drum them to work but instead teach them about the immensity of the sea.

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