What's all this Lean business?

WorkLean has nothing to do with Jenny Craig.

Lean is a manufacturing ideaology invented -- and best exemplified -- by Toyota. (Which is on its way to eclipsing GM as the world's largest car maker. And long ago eclipsed GM as the world's most profitable car maker.)

Lean is an all-encompassing way of running a company. I use "way" in the sense of "the way of the warrior" or the "way of the Camaroon pygmies." lt's a comprehensive philosophy that guides a company.

The aspect of Lean most important to me, right now, is the emphasis on eliminating waste. "Waste," in this case, is defined as anything the customer doesn't want to pay for. So the time you spend surfing the web is waste from the customer's perspective. (They don't want to pay for your entertainment. They want to buy your product or service at the lowest possible cost.)

But waste is also the time lost to disorganization. Waste is the expense of FedExing something because of poor planning on your boss' part. Waste is the rework of a spreadsheet because someone didn't give you the right information the first time. Waste is the Saturday morning you have to spend in the office because the piece of the project you required was late.

I'll write more about waste in subsequent posts. (My wife fondly refers to me as the only Jew in the waste management business.) Suffice it to say that I'll be helping you identify the hidden waste in your work, and helping you eliminate it.

That's what WorkLean is all about.