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Lila-Mae White, MBA, CHE, PMP


"Your way is not the only way!"

Posted 2/10/2024

I am a naturally born efficiency, productivity and LEAN process practitioner. When I say that I mean that I have always thought of daily activities in terms of organizing things to only touch something once, taking few steps to do something or batching work to get more done. Examples of this include emptying the dishwasher by limiting the bouncing around the kitchen or planning my errands to limit left hand turns and parking in a location that I can allow me to optimize my travel between my car and the various stores I am headed to.

Of course, over the course of my education and career I have taken course/training covering these topics, but it is also an innate part of my personality. Knowing this about me gives you a clue to my first reaction of indignation when two different people I was working alongside gave me the feedback that my way was only one way to approach the work in front of us. Well perhaps my way is not the only way, but it is the most efficient and effective way! Ha! As you might imagine I did not say it, but I did think it! But then I began to think about what the outcome would be if I did not try to apply the efficiency/LEAN practices to the process.

Deep breath and let go of my tight grip of the process.

Did we spend a bit longer at the task? Yes, but we also had more time to talk and invest in the relationship. Was the outcome of lesser quality? No, in fact by going a bit slower we discovered new information in the material we were working with. Will the person be more likely to want to do a project with me again and will they be willing to speak up to share their opinions and ideas? Yes, and yes!

And full disclosure – it was the Toad who was one of the people providing me this life lesson…. the other my Dad!