Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
– Francis of Assisi
Let’s first lay some groundwork by learning the history and fundamentals of Lean and Zen.
Key Points from this Section:
- Always consider the perspective of the customer, which could be you or your team.
- The recent history of Lean begins in the 1910s with Henry Ford’s early automobile assembly operations. Sakichi Toyoda visited Ford in that same decade, taking what he learned back to Japan. What became Toyota continued to evolve the concept, with input from Deming and others. In the 1990s the operating philosophy returned to the United States with the publishing of Womack and Jones’ The Machine That Changed the World.
- The two pillars of Lean are “reduce waste to create value,” and “respect for people.”
- Zen is not necessarily a religion, but a human- and present-centered way of life.
- The nexus of Lean and Zen includes awareness through observation, simplicity, balance and harmony, and flow.