Just a short post, in the hopes that the ignorami that continue to use the word "mean" with "lean" will actually read this and realize the error of their ways. Here’s the bottom line:
Lean manufacturing and lean thinking in general, especially including the Toyota Production System version, revolves around people. "Respect for people" is the second, and unfortunately oft-forgotten, second pillar of lean. People are worth far more than the "cost" of their pair of hands; there’s huge value in their brains, creativity, knowledge, and experience. Therefore, by definition, to achieve true lean you can’t be "mean."
So stop it already. If "mean" comes even close to "lean" then you are "lame." Here’s the latest story to test my patience:
Lean mean double glazing machine – Ashton’s Igpro
Prices are keen, new Lean Manufacturing techniques are being implemented continuously, steered by new Production Manager and former MAS Manufacturing Advisory Service consultant, Stewart Barrass.
Those are the first and last lines of the entire article, and "lean" is not mentioned anywhere else. Neither is "mean."
Mark Graban says
There’s just no details about their “lean” efforts. It was mentioned.
Part of any lean training or (for what it’s worth) certification training should include the following in the body of knowledge:
“When interviewed, INSIST that the ‘lean and mean’ cliche NOT be used in the article or headline.”
I know you don’t have control over the writers or editors, but you can beg and plead.
One entry for Mean in Merriam-Webster:
d: excellent, effective: plays a mean trumpet; a lean, mean athlete.
That’s not so bad