Kaizen Thinking: The Seven Deadly Wastes

By on August 28, 2013
Kaizen Thinking: The Seven Deadly Wastes

For many employees, to be continuously focused on ways to improve work processes through the elimination of waste is simply not part of the way they operate in the work place. Yet it is this habit, Kaizen thinking, that can be a major force driving process improvements that will increase an organization’s productivity and profitability. Bringing about this shift in the way employees think is one of the primary goals of Lean manufacturing and the major force behind the power of Lean.

In addition, research conducted at the University of Chicago has suggested that driving the types of work process improvements that Lean focuses on…smooth work flow with as little waste as possible embedded in the work flow…actually makes workers happier. Further, the recently completed Gallup study on the impact of employee engagement at work demonstrates conclusively that experiences such as those that come from Kaizen thinking have a major impact on employee retention and other key indicators of corporate health.

This series of eleven, one-hour discussions, focused on the elimination of waste and the development of Kaizen thinking habits, addresses the following topics in each of the up to one-hour sessions. In addition, participants use time between sessions to spot waste in their workspaces, reporting back in these sessions on the waste they have spotted. This series is an especially effective way of driving the success of the Idea Board.

  1. Kaizen Thinking: An Overview
  2. The Seven Deadly Wastes
  3. Taiichi Ohno’s Standing in a Circle
  4. The Waste of Defects
  5. The Waste of Inventory
  6. The Waste of Overprocessing
  7. The Waste of Motion
  8. The Waste of Transport
  9. The Waste of Waiting
  10. The Waste of Overproduction
  11. The Waste of Human Potential

If you’d like to discuss ways in which these seminars could be put to work in your organization, I’d much appreciate having the opportunity to meet with you. You can reach me anytime at 314-303-0612.

About George Friesen

George Friesen serves as Business Practice Leader - Lean Manufacturing for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. He has led the College's Lean business practice area since 2000. Prior to joining the College, George worked for Maritz Performance Improvement Company. Over the past 35 years, he has served a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, specializing during the past eleven years in Lean Manufacturing, focusing especially on the 5S System, Lean leadership and thinking processes, Value Stream Mapping, and Lean team building. George is a graduate of Washington University (AB), Webster University (MA), and United States Air Force Flight Training.