Give up or continue on the path? The choice is yours

Mike Wroblewski, Batesville Casket Company; lean sensei, Batesville Casket Company

The path on the lean journey is not an easy one as many of us have already discovered. Not only do we do battle with the defenders of the status quo, we are challenged by those that do not understand lean thinking, and struggle with others who simply fear change. But the challenge that I find the most difficult is one that I should have the most control over – that is my own thinking and actions.

All of us experience these moments of doubt, discouragement and defeat. At these moments, we can simply give in to our urges to cut corners, temptations to take the easy way or simple just give up.

It is also at these defining moments that we can become more resolute in our vision. It is our moment to decide our course of action, not just at critical moments but in our daily struggle. It is our choice to make. Do we continue on our path or do we give in to our urges?

These urges include …

  • An urge to slow down or give up because we encounter a difficult barrier
  • An urge to be complacent with the status quo
  • An urge to give a half-hearted effort and not give it our all
  • An urge to think of all the ways something can’t be done before we think of all the ways that it could be done
  • An urge to decide on a solution before we grasp the situation
  • An urge to provide an answer when a question is a better approach to teach
  • An urge to just do it ourselves, taking away the chance for others to discover it themselves
  • An urge to focus on the results and not the process
  • An urge to disrespect others and not take the time to treat others with respect and compassion
  • An urge to think negative
  • An urge to be arrogant in our thinking
  • An urge to hear ourselves talk and not listen (really listen) to others
  • An urge to run forward without bringing others with us
  • An urge to think of ourselves before the needs of others
  • An urge to soften or hide problems
  • An urge to seek blame

May we all learn from our mistakes along the journey and be mindful of the barriers on the path of continuous improvement, especially the barriers in our own mind and by our own actions.

About the author:
Mike Wroblewski started his lean journey with instruction in quick die change from Shigeo Shingo. Mike is currently the lean sensei at Batesville Casket Company in Batesville, Ind. He also writes a blog called “ Got Boondoggle? ” featuring lean and Six Sigma topics. Check it out at .

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Toyota Material Handling

Mike Wroblewski started his lean journey with instruction in quick die change from Shigeo Shingo. Mike is currently a ...

About the Author