From the CEO: You’re never too young to learn about Lean!

AME | May 22, 2024

There is a national day dedicated to celebrating just about everything. I recently wrote about National Scrabble Day, and many of you shared your love of the game. Some actually challenged me to a game. Pretty brave! 

Did you know there is a National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day? On the fourth Thursday of every April, this day presents an opportunity for parents to give their children a peek into their professional lives. I always get a kick out of the stories my colleagues share with me about their kids not knowing what they do at work. Our job titles aren’t entirely self-explanatory in the manner of “firefighter” or “truck driver.” And the words “continuous improvement specialist” and “lean practitioner” certainly don’t conjure images that accurately reflect these roles. But wouldn’t it amuse our kids to see what we do? And how fulfilling would it feel if they asked great questions about our roles?

Confusion around Lean isn’t surprising; many adults don’t quite understand what we do until they see Lean in practice. It is always satisfying to witness that “aha” moment when people recognize how Lean makes their jobs easier, better and more valued.

There is no better time to educate our kids on what we do best. I encourage you to share your own explanation of operational excellence with your kids. Or give them a glimpse into one of our AME events. It would be great for them to see a virtual tour or hear about AI. It may not be as enthralling as the latest Marvel flick, but then again, it just might be. Introducing young people to Lean could very well produce some of the next generation’s greatest lean leaders. We might even see them in the AME Emerging Leaders program. And, of course, respect for people is a fundamental principle of Lean, and it is never too early to teach this value to our children.

The next time your child asks about your job, take the time to explain — and be proud while doing so. Let your passion shine through. After all, your kids are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is never too early to get them excited today. I cannot wait to see their faces online at one of our virtual events soon.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.