Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer. “Traditionally,” of course, has gone out the window this year.
In the continuous improvement community, we know the pitfalls of “traditionally” and the “way it’s always been done.” While there is an important place for standard work and past practice, we also know that there are always adjustments and improvements to be made.
Across the board, from the front office to the front line, all of us have made plenty of adjustments this year. I’ve heard examples of how agile our members are being, how they continue to implement new solutions to new (and old) problems, and how they continue to seek out best practices at AME webinars, workshops and tours.
I also know that some businesses and some of our members are still struggling with organizational issues or the fallout from unfortunate staff reductions. First, you’ve got this! You are a member of the lean community, which means you are equipped with the skills to identify issues and find solutions to overcome them. Keep your head up and keep looking for new ways to apply your skills and your continuous improvement mindset, and everything will fall into place. Second, AME is here to help you. Our job board includes opportunities for operational excellence practitioners, and we continue to offer our programming at a variety of prices points — including several free events and a 60% price reduction on our annual conference — so more people may share, learn and grow with us. Do not hesitate to directly reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you or your organization.
Despite the challenges that we face, we should all be proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past several months. Labor Day — or Labour Day for our Canadian members — gives us a time to reflect on our jobs and our work. Take a moment this weekend to do just that. Be mindful as you think about your accomplishments and the great job you’re doing for yourself and your organization. Pat yourself on the back and — if you’re so inclined — find a colleague or peer to pat on the back (with proper social distancing, of course!). Collectively, through resilience and lean thinking, we’re rebuilding something great, and this weekend is our moment to acknowledge that.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.