The Lean Concept of Respect for People

Someone recently asked me the best way to start Lean? Since it was on Twitter, and I only had 140 characters, I replied: “Best way 2 start #Lean? Practice Respect 4 People & Continuous Improvement after that it is all window dressing.” Now that I have an entire blog post to comment on, I believe a 140 characters was enough.

This podcast with David Veech (@leansights) is an excellent overview not only for beginners of Lean but seasoned practitioners. David has a knack of getting to the point, which he demonstrates in this excerpt, Can Standard Work be fun and lead to Enthusiasm?

David VeechDavid’s coaching focuses on people in organizations and how lean; leadership, and learning systems contribute to overall employee satisfaction and well-being. He delivers keynotes and seminars on topics related to leadership, problem solving, suggestion systems, employee involvement, team building, and creating satisfying workplaces. David will be part of the Lean Frontiers Lean HR Summit this year in San Antonio, TX.

Back to my point on the best way to start Lean? David addressed it at the end of our podcast.


If you could leave the listeners with one message, what would that be?


Well, a lot of people talk about respect for people, and you know that is one of the two over-arching  drivers of the Toyota way, Respect for people and continuous improvement. We seem to pick up and get the continuous improvement piece, and we say that we respect our people.

We don’t really understand that whole concept and I would urge people to think about what it really means to show respect for someone else. When you choose because it is definitely a decision when you choose to show respect for your workforce then that is going to open up tremendous amounts of creative resources that will change the way you think about your work.

That will lead to a happy road down the way. It will make your work meaningful; it will make your work significant, and it will make your work special. Just by having a better relationship among the people with whom you work.

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You can find David at The Lean Way. David is also a founding member of the Institute for Lean Systems and serves as its Executive Director. He is a faculty leader for Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business Executive Programs, and is a guest lecturer in The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business Masters program in Business Operational Excellence.

Finally, to focus on the fun part, David’s the owner of the Bluegrass Revolution, a professional team in the American Ultimate Disc League.

Related Information:
Lean Planning: We started off Looking at Work
Turning Leader Standard Work Upside Down