I am very fortunate to have the job I do. I develop and facilitate Continuous Improvement Consortiums and help organizations understand how to apply C.I. and Lean thinking concepts for success.
As 2016 marks 15 years with HPS and a 21-year association with our first consortium – the High Performance Manufacturing Consortium, I have done some reflection on my motivation to do what I do.
The simple answer is to develop organizations to allow their employees to have a choice – a choice to think, innovate, improve and challenge the status quo in their organizations.
When I grew up, my father worked at a furniture factory in a small town. He was continually exposed to unsafe working conditions and poor management. He was never given the opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization. He had lots of good ideas, but never had a chance to implement them. He never had a chance to pull the andon, to stop production to fix a problem. He never had the opportunity to experience physiological safety to express his ideas and suffered at the hands of abusive transactional managers. Eventually he was broken and was forced to retire early due to a number of workplace injuries caused by poor working conditions and a management system that unnecessarily overburdened their employees.
His story provides me with the motivation to work hard to help organize, develop and implement the thinking required to allow their employees to have a choice. I also work hard to develop the consortium to extend the choice for their employees to benchmark and learn together with other like-minded organizations to further develop their thinking.
Whether you work in a manufacturing, healthcare or service organization, you are a front line employee or an senior manager, you deserve a choice, a choice to participate in the success of your organization.