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Lean For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Natalie J. Sayer, Bruce Williams

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Chapter 4

Power to the People

In This Chapter

arrow Exploring the human side of change

arrow Teaming in Lean

arrow Understanding what it means to be a Lean leader

Everything about business comes down to people. Where in business can we escape the impact of human care, human creativity, human commitment, human frustration, and human despair? There is no reason for anything in business to exist if it does not serve the needs of people.

— Bruce Cryer, Re-Engineering the Human System

One of the oldest clichés in business — you’ve heard it a zillion times — is “People are our most important resource.” From the Lean perspective, these words are both critically true and utterly false. On face value, it’s true that people power an organization more than anything else. Without the people, there is no organizational performance. People are more important than facilities, equipment, capital, or other resources.

But in the Lean world, you don’t think of people as a “resource.” You don’t categorize, value, measure, and manage people the same way you would manage financial, capital, or intellectual resources. In Lean, people are not the most important resource in an organization; people are the organization. In ...

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