We focused on services as that is new

Sorry for not being around. I know I am writing this to very few people except myself so it doesn’t really matter. I was as usual intending to write a deep and meaningful post about the contrast between the lean start-up movement and lean in manufacturing. I haven’t had time to fully form those thoughts to sufficient quality (mostly due to being busy on six sigma projects for work). It is still going to happen though!

Something happened today which shocked me though and I wanted to share it. We are a generous bunch here in the company I work for and people get a lot of training and honestly there are very little expectations on the value returned to the company. A shocking example of this was a young guy we have who had the company pay for him to attend a masters course. As part of this masters he studied six sigma and therefore did a project. Bear in mind we are a manufacturing company…. his project was service based, in a hospital. His former manager approved this. I challenged this today in terms of the value this brought to us. His reply, “we focused on services as it is new and developing”. “It is also, more interesting.” <– WELL FUCK ME!!! You work for a manufacturing company kid. We produce stuff. Yes we are trying to grow our services and our existing service are sub-optimum but it is a long way away from being our core business. “Oh, by the way… I would like to attend this other training course next year.” <— NO.

Why am I sharing this, well, I think it is very important to invest in people. I do. However, that investment should always be to develop the person in line with the needs of the business. If it is not, there is no value for the company and therefore definitely no value for the customer. That means it is not lean.