People often have ideas of things that they’d like to try…to solve a problem, to improve flow, to satisfy customers…but, because the ideas don’t seem to fit into the exact model of improvement that they’ve read about or been using, they’re reluctant to try them! You can imagine their relief, when after mentioning their idea to me, I say, “What’s stopping you from giving it a try? You won’t know how it works until you try it out!” It’s good to learn theory and practices and tools, but the most important thing to remember is that there’s no one right way to do anything. Taichi Ohno didn’t have a manual or set methodology to follow. Toyota had challenges and a purpose and insisted that people try things and learn from them. And from those experiments, principles such as flow, pull, leveling, etc. were created. So, next time you have an idea, give it a try and see what happens. Keep the principles – and your purpose – in mind, and remember, as I often say, “I promise you, it will be alright, the ‘lean police’ aren’t coming!”

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