Lean thinking is a habit
Teachers say a student must practice something at least 17 times to learn and become a habit. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to practice?
Although habits can be hard to change, humans have the ability to change habits, through deliberate practice. At first the practice uses our conscious mind and is slow and difficult. But, after many repetitions, the habits becomes part of our subconscious mind and becomes fast and easy. Think about the following habits, and when you first learned them, from a teacher or coach, through hours and hours of deliberate practice.
- Addition and subtraction, Multiplication tables, spelling, touch typing
- Riding a bike, driving a car, flying a plane
- Martial arts, golfing, tennis, sports
- Playing video games – Halo, Call of Duty, Wii, Kinect
Current research supports the importance of deliberate practice to learn new thinking habits.
For a continuous improvement project to yield effective and sustainable results, it requires a systems approach involving the entire organization. Management should guide the organization in four fundamental areas to ensure success:
- Purpose—maximizing customer value
- Process—continually improving speed and defects for factory and office
- People—involving people in improving the process, providing knowledge, and tools
- Sustainable culture—encouraging change, communicating success, and results
For further reading
Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results, Mike Rother, McGraw-Hill, 2009
Mike Rother's Toyota Kata Home Page
Mike Rother is an engineer, a teacher, and a guest researcher at the Technical University Dortmund. Rother’s work has bought him to numerous companies and hundreds of factories around the world, where he collaborates with people to test ideas and shares lessons learned.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, Farrar, Strous & Groux, 2011. Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology.
This article was published in the June 2013 issue of MAGNET Roundup.
To learn more about MAGNET's process innovation services, or arrange to meet the author, contact Linda Barita, 216.391.7733.