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The Power of 1

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-22-10

Last week I was visiting a very large operation in Costa Rica. As the strategy was being discussed, I noticed that we were going to review 5S efforts later in my visit. I started questioning this line of thought, because they had so many things going on in their organization and it was so large, I thought an effort to do 5S right would require too much bandwidth and attention that they didn’t have.

That is until I met the leader of the effort.

He had given 5S (called something different in Spanish) life. He made it happen. Without being asked. Without incentive. Even without permission. He knew it had to be done and so he did it.

He taught people, as best he knew how, but with passion. He got people engaged, and (my words, not his) started cloning himself in different departments and shifts. He found out what systems and processes got in the way, and he fixed them. And if he needed help, he went straight to the plant manager with enough conviction that he never got a “no” answer. 5S was starting to take shape in this organization. All because he decided to do it.

It demonstrates that even a small pebble in a lake can make waves. And one man’s actions can help move the world.

ripples.jpg

Comments

  • Nice post. Good way to start the day. Kudos to the plant manager too.

    Karen Wilhelm April 22, 2010 at 9:20 am
  • Nice post. Good way to start the day. Kudos to the plant manager too.

    Karen Wilhelm April 22, 2010 at 9:20 am
  • Nice post. Good way to start the day. Kudos to the plant manager too.

    Karen Wilhelm April 22, 2010 at 9:20 am
  • Jamie: An awesome account at CR. All the power to this employee who took the the time and effort to do all this. A critical piece in your account that he never got “no” for an answer from management/leadership. I would put this in the rare category. Like to hear others on this as well.

    Ram April 22, 2010 at 11:34 am
  • Jamie: An awesome account at CR. All the power to this employee who took the the time and effort to do all this. A critical piece in your account that he never got “no” for an answer from management/leadership. I would put this in the rare category. Like to hear others on this as well.

    Ram April 22, 2010 at 11:34 am
  • Jamie: An awesome account at CR. All the power to this employee who took the the time and effort to do all this. A critical piece in your account that he never got “no” for an answer from management/leadership. I would put this in the rare category. Like to hear others on this as well.

    Ram April 22, 2010 at 11:34 am
  • Ram, good point, but it still comes down to him. It wasn’t that he didn’t get a “no.” You see, he didn’t give anyone the chance to say no. Even our 1 hour review, which was at the end of the day, turned into almost 3 hours. He just kept going, and it was just easier to roll with him than resist him.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh April 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm
  • Ram, good point, but it still comes down to him. It wasn’t that he didn’t get a “no.” You see, he didn’t give anyone the chance to say no. Even our 1 hour review, which was at the end of the day, turned into almost 3 hours. He just kept going, and it was just easier to roll with him than resist him.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh April 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm
  • Ram, good point, but it still comes down to him. It wasn’t that he didn’t get a “no.” You see, he didn’t give anyone the chance to say no. Even our 1 hour review, which was at the end of the day, turned into almost 3 hours. He just kept going, and it was just easier to roll with him than resist him.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh April 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm
  • In math, any number raised to the power of 1 equals the number. (Example: 7 to the power of 1 equals 7)
    The power of Senor “Cinco Ese” is exponentially greater because he engages those around him. He teaches, clones and gets the plant manager involved.
    7 to the power of 2 equals 49. To the power of 3…343.
    With all that power…things get done.

    Some interesting math to ponder:
    1) Zero raised to any positive power is ALWAYS zero. Lesson: If we choose to do nothing…we get nothing.

    2) ONE raised to any positive power is always ONE. I like to use this when folks are questioning why keeping the status quo is not enough. One to the power of a zillion? Still one.

    Choosing to go along with the crowd, or accepting the status quo, freezes our value at “1”. Each of us has unique skills and abilities that give us VALUE greater than “1”. When we share our value with those around us in a positive way, we get the power to (as you said it, Jamie) help move the world.

    Steve Martin April 27, 2010 at 10:33 am
  • In math, any number raised to the power of 1 equals the number. (Example: 7 to the power of 1 equals 7)
    The power of Senor “Cinco Ese” is exponentially greater because he engages those around him. He teaches, clones and gets the plant manager involved.
    7 to the power of 2 equals 49. To the power of 3…343.
    With all that power…things get done.

    Some interesting math to ponder:
    1) Zero raised to any positive power is ALWAYS zero. Lesson: If we choose to do nothing…we get nothing.

    2) ONE raised to any positive power is always ONE. I like to use this when folks are questioning why keeping the status quo is not enough. One to the power of a zillion? Still one.

    Choosing to go along with the crowd, or accepting the status quo, freezes our value at “1”. Each of us has unique skills and abilities that give us VALUE greater than “1”. When we share our value with those around us in a positive way, we get the power to (as you said it, Jamie) help move the world.

    Steve Martin April 27, 2010 at 10:33 am
  • In math, any number raised to the power of 1 equals the number. (Example: 7 to the power of 1 equals 7)
    The power of Senor “Cinco Ese” is exponentially greater because he engages those around him. He teaches, clones and gets the plant manager involved.
    7 to the power of 2 equals 49. To the power of 3…343.
    With all that power…things get done.

    Some interesting math to ponder:
    1) Zero raised to any positive power is ALWAYS zero. Lesson: If we choose to do nothing…we get nothing.

    2) ONE raised to any positive power is always ONE. I like to use this when folks are questioning why keeping the status quo is not enough. One to the power of a zillion? Still one.

    Choosing to go along with the crowd, or accepting the status quo, freezes our value at “1”. Each of us has unique skills and abilities that give us VALUE greater than “1”. When we share our value with those around us in a positive way, we get the power to (as you said it, Jamie) help move the world.

    Steve Martin April 27, 2010 at 10:33 am