When I was a young boy I walked in once on my father drawing on a notepad. Focused on what he was drawing and his then knife whittled pencil I asked my father "what are you doing dad?" His response at the time seemed ingenious to me. He shared "I'm finishing this design for a project." Just as curious as ever I asked, "can I see?" Of course my father said, "sure!" Upon further review he had designed a system full of clamps, materials and the necessary tooling associated to produce a product of high quality at twice the speed. Later I recall going to my father's shop as he pieced together the kit for testing. I learned that my father's design was such that a worker could simply grab the organized kit, clamps and everything, load the tooling and they were off and running. Essentially he had improved the setup and changeover. His brilliant design eliminated waste and inefficiencies and provided a repeatable system that still operates today. Those young years would leave a profound impact on me.
Similar to the story of my father and I, recently I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) award ceremony. Children from all over were given recognition for their outstanding project efforts. Many of those projects will go on to creating life changing experiences for these young accomplished children. From kindergarten to seventh grade I watched as the future leaders, designers and developers of our world received praise. Astounded at the seemingly spiritual experience I was having I could not help but think what a bright future this world has in store.
Despite the frequent political posts and state of economies around the world we in whatever capacity we stand have a fantastic opportunity right before us today. Whether that opportunity is with a curious child or an award winning stem research candidate. Everyday we have the opportunity to influence others to in some way influence the world. Given that thought who have we influenced today? What did we influence? How did we do it? A lot of questions to answer, but here is a thought. With organizations like Apics, STEM, SME and AME and a wealth of other influential networking opportunities we can share a little of what we know today in support of a better brighter tomorrow. Take Lean manufacturing for example. What once started as one strategy in a focused industry has now spread across multiple industries in the world because someone somewhere decided to share what they knew with someone else.
Let's imagine for just a second that Yokoten was applied on the world creating communication, learning and continuous improvement in margins that might not even be measurable because they are so large. That may be a brief glimpse into a beautiful future. We have this opportunity right before us to take what we know and empower another. Call it yokoten, sharing or just being good natured human. Whatever you call it those opportunities result in actions which inevitably result in a better brighter future for all of tomorrow. Sound to big to accomplish. It's not it starts with one person at a time, each individual. The underlying message here is that by developing others we can develop and shape a world of individuals who receive awards and in hindsight if those same people go to work with that same sharing principle, well then we have just set a new and improved standard. Starting first with Kaizen and resulting in Kaikaku.
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