Lean basically means: put together in the exact way you which enables you to perform your task. An example of this would be a cheetah. He is built to run, with muscles intended for sprints on short distances. Running long distances is not what a cheetah is intended to do.
This definition is applicable within an organisation as well. Unfortunately, Lean does not have the best reputation. When an organisation decides to implement this on account of wrong intentions, people are fired because of “financial cuts”. And this can basically be described as Mean. In the past, this phenomenon has occurred many times. Little do people know, these so-called financial cuts are only temporary and these losses will only increase in the long term.
Are we able to let employees go when using Lean?
As you can read in our blog Lean and Toyota, the philosophy has been applied by the car company since the ‘40s. They believe that using Lean creates more capacity for the organisation and offers an opportunity to develop itself. So, working more efficiently generates more capacity to be able to develop new products. This made Toyota one of the most innovative car manufacturers of the world.
In other words, Lean does not actually mean firing people whenever seems appropriate, but it stands for efficiency and grander customer satisfaction, which enables the realisation of more profit in the long run. But not only customers, employees are centralised as well. It is important to keep them satisfied as well. This can easily be achieved, because working more efficiently will lead to more fun.
To implement it successfully, it is important to add value for the customer, employees and suppliers. This is why “Mean” should actually be considered Meaningful.