Journey To Excellence

   i won’t bore you with the details, but I’m going through some training through Toyota right now, and it clarified a thought I’ve been having.  The Idea of the training is to make your company run leaner.  remove waste in all its forms, etc.  Tomorrow we take a trip to the toyota plant to see it in action, but the basic premise seems so simple, and yet most companies don’t even come close to the goals.  The stats aren’t really important.  what is important to industry and society as a whole is why they don’t come close.

    I’m taking the class, and it occurred to me that the leadership tier at my plant has already been through this training.  they found it important enough to send every employee in the plant to it, a status usually reserved for OSHA Safety Training.  Why?  Because they know we do things, a lot of things, wrong.

    Now here is the rub.  they can send us to all the classes they want.  What continues to be important to them is that we produce a million pounds of clean XXXX a day.  That’s round the clock, every day of the year, xmas included.  The only exceptions are during furnace rebuilds, and you wouldn’t believe how fast them occur.  The things in this class they pay lip service too.  Cleanliness, wasted motion, transportation, and all the other little things that hinder a company are pushed aside with the eye toward reaching the immediate goals of the company.  While in the short term taking care of these things would slow production, over the long run they would increase profits. 

   Corporate myopia isn’t new, and virtually every aspect of our society encounters similar issues.  Nothing gets done because we wait for those ahead to lead.   In droves we wait for a president that will lead us out of this malaise we have inflicted on ourselves.  Many think Ron Paul is the guy to do it.  My question is why do we need a Ron Paul?

    The only way things are going to change is if the bottom tier leads the top.  The top is pretty happy where they are, and I don’t care what Ron Paul says, he has been in congress long enough to be part of the problem.

  Did you know there is a Subaru Plant here in Indiana that creates zero waste?   No dirty water, no trash, no nothing.  It’s true.  These automakers are successful because they are not dictated to from the top.  The lower echelons are encouraged to think creatively, and to recommend ideas that will make the companies better.  This isn’t something that starts in the middle.  It starts on the line. 

   Thats the same place it should start with America.  At the roots of our constitution is the theory of “we the people.”

Voting for people that will not behave as our current crop of representatives behaves is the first step.  Which means virtually none of the candidates have any hope of making a difference, and I’d venture to guess about the same number really want to.  If obama, ckinton, edwards,mccain,tancredo, and all the other current or former members of congress or white house administrations wanted change they would already have done something to make that happen.  Face it, you never heard of ron paul until he ran for president.

   Our problems can only be fixed on our streets and in our homes, and our workplaces by us.  Stop looking for someone to lead, and do it yourself.

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