During your Lean journey is becomes easy to become discourage and frustrated. The more you become familiar with the tools and philosophies more you become aware of all the conflicting practices within organizations.
Those practices produce many conflicting goal which oftentimes creates conflicts between organizational silos. One silo is tasked to reduce shipping cost while another is to increase shipping frequency with smaller lots. Another unit is tasked to reduce inventory at any cost in direct conflict with yet another group tasked to add inventory in support of on time delivery and level material flow.
Sometime all you can do is laugh. This brings us to an unknown quality tool “HUMOR”! Global competition has bought some massive challenges to the workforce. It’s not unusual for a Lean Practitioner to feel as if they are characters in a Dilbert comic.
This brings me a chuckle I had recently. I was reading about the Milgram Experiment. For those that have never heard of this.
It was an experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Basically participants (Teachers) were told individuals (Learners) in the next room were wired to receive an electrical shock. Teachers role was to ask a question and if Learner’s answers were incorrect they were to receive a electrical shock administered by the Teacher.
After each wrong question the voltage was to be increased. How far could the authority figures push the Teachers? When would their conscience’s override there blind trust in authority and stop pushing the button? Research yourself to find out results very interesting.
Origin of my humor was the thought that Material Managers might but subjects of a similar experiment. Will Managers flow down increasingly impossible to accomplish goals believing lean practices will somehow solve them or will they stop the experiment and address real constraining structural issues?
Since Managers are not volunteers like those in the Milgram experiment I suspect they will keep cranking up the voltage. I laugh my butt off when at think how great a Dilbert script that would be!
What are your thoughts or experiences!