Toyota, Respect for People and Lean | Mark Graban

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Blog post at Lean Blog : A principle that has been often discussed (and hopefully practiced) in the Lean community over the past few years is usually described as “respect for people.” A certain British rabble rouser recently said at a Lean conference “all this respect for people stuff is horse sh*t,” and that it is a “conventional Western management interpretation.” He mocked the idea of “respect for people programs,” although I’m not sure where such a standalone program has ever been attempted.

Michel Baudin‘s insight:
Great post, Mark. In concrete terms, I have found disrespect easier to explain than respect.For example, giving a person a job that requires doing nothing 50% of the time is saying “your time is worthless,” and therefore “you are worthless.”  Many managers do not realize how disrespectful this attitude is, particularly where labor is cheap.
Ignoring complaints about minor safety issues, like sharp edges on a cart, is also showing disrespect.There are many such issues that must be addressed before asking people to participate in improvement and contribute ideas.The Frank Woollard quote in Bob Emiliani’s comment explains why you should pay respect to your people. It’s not about being nice. In the long run, you cannot compete unless your organization fires on all intellectual cylinders.

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3 comments on “Toyota, Respect for People and Lean | Mark Graban

  1. From earliest times a human characteristic has been propensity to kill unknown neighbors. In organizations, cognitive dissonance that makes this behavior possible starts at, or near the CEO and expands from there. Respect for people will always be a short lived initiative unless the entire organization culture is changed. A, (perhaps only) way is to do as Toyota production did as a response to the 1973 “twin shocku”.

    • Could you elaborate on the the “twin shocku”? I recall the oil shock in 1973, but what other shock was there? What is the connection between these events and respect for people as part of the Toyota Production System?

  2. Pingback: Does Respect For Humanity Mean The Same As Respect For People? | M. Ballé [Review] | Michel Baudin's Blog

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