Is it dangerous to do lean when others aren’t

If you happen to work for a company that does not follow lean principles, is it dangerous to apply lean processes yourself?

For the sake of the discussion, let’s assume you run a division with ten people. You have a fixed budget and a mission to fulfill. Together with your staff, you device better ways of interacting with your customers and you are now able to do the same amount of work with eight people.

In a company following lean principles, you would be allowed to redirect those two people to different work, to other challenges. In those conditions, improvements and innovations would be used by the people for the people. For the benefit of all.

In a company run by spreadsheets, what would happen? Your budget would get cut by the equivalent of two people. You might end up having to fire those people.

See where I am going?

Nowhere.

And that is a common direction for many companies.

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Planned Abandonment Session

Before you start anything new, it is often necessary to stop doing something else. Unless you do that, you will soon hit the final frontier: There are only 24 hours in a day, and you can’t make use of them all. At least not productively.

Eliminate what? Distraction, Waste, Rework, Nuisance, Trouble, Administration, Movement. Well, you’ve got the picture. Eliminate something that does not add value to your life. And yes, sleep has a great value, so don’t plan to skip on that.

Peter Drucker suggests to plan on a regular basis a “Planned Abandonment Session” during which you systematically assess what you do and see what you can stop.

This concept of eliminating something, preferably some kind of waste is also linked to the Lean methodology.

So my advise is start your planned abandonment session ASAP.

IBM to make corporate donation of US$1m to Japan’s relief and recovery effort

[Disclaimer: I am employed at IBM Belgium]

IBM will make an initial corporate donation of up to US$1 million in technology and services to Japan’s relief and recovery efforts. We are reaching out to major nonprofits and the public sector in Japan to determine how best to deploy this contribution and utilize the talents of IBM employees in Japan’s recovery.

IBMers worldwide also are encouraged to make cash donations to disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross.

I am proud be an IBMer !

Japan devastation leaves me speechless

I’ve been struck by the reports and pictures I see from Japan. There is so much pain, so much tragedy. Yet out of it, I see the courage of the firefighters, of the policemen, of all the people who help the distressed.

To check the extend of damages and losses, check out those links:

  1. NY Times Interactive Map
  2. ABC News Before/After Pictures
  3. CNN Map impact of Tsunami and Earthquake

All my prayers  and thoughts go to Japan.