Although this may seem like a given, in today’s cost-conscious and ever-more competitive environment, reducing costs by reducing the number of people who are doing the work is common. And while this might sometimes be a necessity, unless an organization has really focused on finding creative ways to remove real waste (transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over production and defects, our traditional lean wastes) cutting people isn’t a good idea. And here’s why. Because people, unlike machinery, or technology or buildings don’t depreciate over time. In fact, when we teach, coach and support them, people actually appreciate. With increased experience, people gain knowledge, wisdom and confidence. Then they’re better able to serve customers and find creative ways to improve services and products. And because each person is a unique individual, they bring their own special strengths and perspective. People aren’t numbers – costs to be reduced – and people are never, ever, ever a waste!