Lean is Inclusive, not Intrusive.

Recently read an article talking about how HR and Lean can “join forces” to change the world.  The article is good, but I think it propagates a fundamental flaw in our thinking about Lean and anything.  Lean isn’t something you do on top of your “day job,” it’s how you do that job.  The problem with sustaining improvement programs is when comments like “I can’t run a project, I’m too busy with my regular work” are encountered without immediately coaching that person on using those Lean tools to accomplish their work in a more efficient way. 

We don’t have to “join” Lean and anything.  Lean is a toolbox to help us accomplish our goals.  If it’s seen as anything else, it’s a failure.


  1. I agree with your statement that lean is about how you do your work, not some separate thing. I think maybe what someone could mean by joining HR and lean is to see lean as toolset and philosophy HR should be adopting. And that those in HR should see lean thinking as a way for them to improve HR not just something for those factory workers or software developers but not us.

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