Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To Get Results, You Gotta do the Work

Some lessons for our lean journey can be easily seen on NBC’s The Biggest Loser in every single episode: To get results, you gotta do the work. The trainers don’t run on the treadmill for you. You must do all the heavy lifting and all the sweating. It’s hard work and requires you to change your behaviors. Nothing comes for free. And we must make the time to do it daily, no excuses.

No secrets. No magic.

Don’t hire Lean consultants to do the work for you and expect to become lean. Any improvements we might see will not stick. Lean consultants can teach, motivate, influence, demonstrate, coach, yell, scream and cuss, but you will only get results by doing it yourself.

Don’t delegate continuous improvement to your lean department. Kaizen is everybody, everyday, everywhere. A culture change towards becoming lean MUST be led by the top, no other way!

Just like you can’t sit on the couch eating ice cream and expect to lose weight, you can’t sit in your office looking at the computer screen and expect to improve your processes.

Too many executives don’t want the labor pains, they just want the baby.

YOU have to get up and get moving. Go to gemba. Don’t say I can’t, I don’t want to hear I can’t. Do what you can. Go, Go Go. You better toughin up. Improve something every day. Again. (Wow, I could get used to this!)

There are many inspirational quotes after many seasons of the Biggest Loser that may help us on our lean journey. As show trainer Bob Harper said it best, “Believe in yourself, trust the process and change forever.” And former show trainer, known for her hard-core, in-your-face style, Jillian Michaels says, “Shut up, focus and do the work” and “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and my personal favorite, “Unless you puke, faint or die, Keep Going!”

As an added bonus, here are a few clips of Bob and Jillian in action. Be warned: They have to be bleeped many times for rough language. One of my favorite parts is when Jillian points to her head saying” You are not getting it here”. It reminds me a little of some the Japanese consultants that used to yell at me years ago.

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