A LIFELONG STUDENT OF PRODUCTIVITY
MAKING SMALL IMPROVEMENTS EVERY DAY Right now, it’s the end of my day, and I’m wrapping it up by putting tomorrow’s plan onto paper. I adopted this habit a couple years ago, and I’ve found it to be helpful in terms of my personal productivity. Instead of walking into each morning unprepared, I know what I need to accomplish. It sets the tone for the next day. Of course, I’m human, and there are times when I leave the office without putting the next day’s plan in place. And you know what? The next day, I feel it. I’m much less productive, and not having a plan — or at least an outline for what needs to happen — allows others to control my day. I’m playing catch up and feeding off that stress instead of focusing my energy on what needs to get done. It’s kind of like 5S organization. You know it makes your teammore productive, but it’s easy to put it on hold when big projects come up. Then a tour comes up and everyone gets excited and starts it up again, only to have it lag. This stop-and-start mentality defeats the whole idea of “continuous improvement.” You can’t improve upon something if you’re not maintaining it in the first place. I know it’s a common problem for many 5S folks. You conduct a training, order the supplies you
buy your team pizza. Send me pictures of your progress. I want to know how it’s going. As a student of productivity, I’m constantly studying how we can make this better together. It’s what I love about 5S, and it’s why I know you’ll find it to be so effective when you’re consistent with implementing the strategies. Speaking of love, Valentine’s Day in our family has had double significance for almost 23 years now— Feb. 14 is also our son’s birthday. After celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, Barbara and I are enjoying a quiet night at home together. As for our son, well, he’ll be ringing in his birthday. Inside the newsletter, you can read about how someone else plans to spend the day of love — our pup, Lilly. Have a great February, and reach out to me if you have any questions along your 5S journey.
need, and go through 5S. Then another initiative hits, and 5S gets put to the side; or supplies run out, and it’s brought to a halt. To make 5S successful, everyone on the team has to buy into it, which starts with management. Make it an agenda topic at standing meetings, and ask team members how it’s going. It’s meant to be discussed, allowing everyone to suggest new ideas. 5S isn’t a stagnant process — it has to be sustained through continuous improvement. Otherwise, you just start each day — or each restart of 5S — playing catch up.When that happens, everyone’s energy is wasted. Teams need to know they have support from engaged managers to make the process of 5S effective. It’s one of the reasons the system uses management walk cards — a key 5S supply that boosts participation with visual encouragement cues. You can read more about these, and why they strengthen 5S operation, inside the newsletter. I challenge you to see how long you can stay consistent with your 5S initiative. How about this — if you make it to next quarter without having stalled or paused your 5S program, I’ll
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