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Friday, August 17, 2012

Lean Shares Series: Alicia Kwiatkowski, Lean Sensei Master Blackbelt

Welcome to the 3rd edition of Lean Shares for the month of August. This week our feature MBB is Alicia Kwiatkowski.

1. What is Lean to you?

Lean to me is getting the right people involved to solve the right problems at the right times that have an overall positive impact to an organization.

2. What impact has Lean had on your workplace, in your life?

Change.  One 6-letter word that has a negative paradigm associate to it!  Lean has been the vehicle that I have used at work and in my personal environment to allow me to break that paradigm.  The world is changing, whether we like it or not, technology and information availability is a perfect example.  If the world around you is evolving, why wouldn’t you want to adapt with it?  I look for every opportunity at work and in my community where I can improve people and establishments that surround me.  Ask me about the Gas attendant at Domo, it’s a perfect example!

3. What is your favourite workplace transformation from Lean?

 I had the opportunity to work in a value stream in the organization that has not been exposed to Lean or continuous improvement concepts.  I made some suggestions on how we can incorporate flexibility into our process in order to positively impact cycle time and the work environment.  The team I was pitching the idea to, had the “deer in headlights” look, “Is she really suggesting we do this?”  After further conversations and going to Gemba to “try it” the team shifted their mindset and shop behaviors that they have been practicing for over 100 years.  It was a break-through moment!  Not only did they implement the concept, they took full ownership for the communication roll out and follow up to ensure it was sustained!

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