Spring is a time of rebirth. Flowers bloom. Birds migrate north. People – especially those in colder climates – begin to emerge from hibernation.
When spring officially starts tomorrow, it will seem different this year. It is not just the leaves on the trees that are returning. As vaccinations continue to roll out, there is a sense of optimism and an increased excitement about putting the pandemic behind us.
During spring, we look at our surroundings and work to make them better. We call this spring cleaning – a time to make things orderly and nice again. Spring cleaning is often a precursor to spending more time outside. You might clean up fallen tree branches in your yard, swap your snow blower for a lawn mower or open your windows to let in crisp, fresh air.
Just like at our homes, there are spring cleaning tasks in our professional lives. As lean, continuous improvement practitioners and leaders, this is a great time to reflect on what we’ve overcome, thank those who have helped us on our journey, and take on the tasks that will help us prepare for the sunshine ahead. In business, of course, we don’t wait until spring to take on the sorts of projects that we only do during spring cleaning at home, but you can still use this time to look at your processes and your facilities with fresh eyes. Go to the gemba and see what you might have missed and what might have been neglected. What fell by the wayside as you worked to overcome the unique challenges of this past year?
There are still obstacles to overcome and work to be done. As we head into the official start of spring, take this opportunity to not only look at the new opportunities that are blooming but also see the opportunities to polish your existing operations.
Please think of AME as your all-purpose cleaner. Members have access to decades worth of best-practice Target Magazine articles. Meanwhile, for both members and non-members, we have several upcoming opportunities to learn about a variety of topics including presentation organization, lean agile, or a peer company’s lean journey. You can also take a deep dive with six AME Excellence Award recipients and two wonderful tour sites at the upcoming AME Operational Excellence Summit. Many of these events are free or offered at a significantly reduced cost.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.
P.S. Don't forget that the presale pricing for the 37th annual AME International Conference ends on March 31! Lock in the lowest available price now, then join us for the world's largest lean conference in October.