The Lean Office Blog

How the Grouch Stole Kaizen

‘Twas the night before Kaizen,
And all through the shop,Empty Factory
Not a machine was moving,
Switches all set to “stop.”
Employees and management,
All tucked in their beds,
With visions of improvement,
Dancing in their heads.
Very early the next morning,
Whom should appear?
No, not the bearded one,
And his flying reindeer.
Instead someone different,
Someone far less sublime,
A person who’s attitude
Had soured with time.

The Grouch is up early,grumpy
Preparing his query,
“Why change at all?”
He says with eyes leery.
“We’re doing just fine,
With things as they are.
Our margins are steady.
Our quality’s on par.
But most of all – really.
I think it quite strange
That so many of you
Seem happy with . . . CHANGE.
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’
Has always worked for me,”
He says to the group
with a tad too much glee.

Luckily for Kaizen,
Another voice chimes in,
And confronts the Grouch,green belt
Hits him square on the chin.
“Entropy’s after us,
And competitors, too.
We’ve waste in every process
(But maybe that’s news to you)”
Others start to take notice
Who’s that raising a fuss?
The sound’s emerging
From behind Accounting’s Gus.
It’s the new Lean Manager
Cindy Lou Lean
Fresh from her training
With a new belt – green!

She starts up againimprovement ideas
“I’m the first to admit,
My team can do better
No doubt about it.
We can start with our part
And fix waste that we’re causing
Then move to other areas
Improving without pausing.”
The team shouted for Cindy Lou
They gave quite a cheer!
And then waited expectantly,
The Grouch’s response to hear.

“Well if change you desire,
Miss Cindy Lou Lean,
I’ve got quite the list,to do list
to share with your team.”
“Great! Let’s hear it!”
She responded with glee,
“We’re always up for ideas.
Why not two or three?”
“So you’re saying to me,
That I can provide,
A list of things to improve,
That you won’t quickly hide?
I’m worried Cindy Lou,
That you may not have heard,
Of the phrase ‘image management’
Are you familiar with the words?”

“Oh yes, Mr. Grouch,
I’m quite aware,improve
Of the concept you speak of,
And the concern you share.
It’s just that I’d rather,
When forced to choose,
Be on the side that’s improving,
Even if ego I lose.
You see, while I change things,
For the better, continuously,
You’ll be clinging to status quo,
I’m sure quite strenuously.
So while image is attractive,
I’d rather stay humble,”
And with that last retort,
Grouch started to stumble.

These were things not discussed
In years of business schoolhappy cat
Among MBA brethren,
Humility was never thought “cool”.
Grouch gave Cindy Lou
A more contemplative glance
And decided he trusted her,
Enough to stake a small chance.
“Say, Cindy Lou Lean,
Do you think when we end,
With your part of the process,
Help with mine you could lend?
Could we try a few changes,
And see how they go?
Could we map out the process,
And create better flow?”

You see, Lean friends,
As we end another year,The Lean Office snow
There’s more work to be done,
People for whom change equals fear.
It makes them quite “Grouchy”
And sometimes quite mean,
But the tonic for grouchiness?
Be like Cindy Lou Lean!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Lean Office!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.