“Lean thinking” is often misunderstood. It is not about cost cutting (the old traditional focus of change) and it is certainly not about retrenching – i.e. less staff.
Rather Lean Thinking is based on three values: Go See! (GEMBA) Ask Why? (Continuous Improvement) and Show Respect (to People who create value)
The system of “lean thinking” is the mutual reinforcing of these three values through a structured process of principles and actions – that in its essence is fundamentally engaging of employees.
Lean thinking does not focus on fault-finding – concentrating on what is wrong. When people are often criticised, they cease any meaningful communication with those who are criticising. This creates the antithesis of learning.
In an environment of appreciation, people feel safe to make suggestions which form the basis for a learning organisation, essential condition for lean transformation.