Seven, eight, nine… What a waste


Seven, eight, nine… What a waste

How many wastes are there? Ah well, good question.

The eighth is commonly defined as human capital or not involving people. Fair enough, I get that but should it be classified as a waste in this sense?

Other candidates are: unsafe acts, wasted opportunities and my favourite, the waste of positive energy.

Sometimes I wonder if I have walked into a quango committee’s Blue Sky workshop where at some point during the brainstorm this all made sense.

The point is, the seven wastes were carefully categorised in order to unleash the potential of the organisation, particularly the team members in the workplace adding the value in the process. The moment we start fiddling with the categories the less it starts to make sense to everybody.

For example, the popular eighth waste of ‘wasted human capital’, what exactly do we expect a team member to do about it other than recognise management has done a pretty poor job of building an operating system which allows them to engage?

My advice: stick to what works before tinkering with the fundamentals. Seven was good enough for Toyota to become the best at what they do. Let’s try and understand why that is before re-engineering something that works.  Mmm… Re-engineering. Now I wonder whether that could be the tenth…

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