What Festivus Can Teach Us About Lean

Posted on December 24, 2011 | in Christmas, Personal, Small Business, Sports | by

Thank you, Frank Costanza, for introducing us to this wonderous yet somehow laughable holiday known as Festivus. Feats of strength (the miracle of Festivus!), airing of grievances, the aluminum pole…so bizarre but now fully engrained in our pop culture-based society.

Even though Festivus was celebrated nationally yesterday (every December 23rd – who knew?) let’s look at a few things Festivus can teach us about lean.

  1. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s bad. Doing things in a different manner than what has been done for years is an important yet scary concept to accept for anybody. The important thing to remember is that the changes implemented have to be done to make things better. Festivus was created to rally against the standard Christmas celebrations that seem geared toward greed and material possessions.
  2. There’s art in simplicity. Festivus incorporates an aluminum pole, a simple meal, no material possessions. It’s often said that the best solution is often the simplest, right?
  3. Foster an atmosphere of open and honest dialogue. The “airing of grievances” includes lashing out at everyone in attendance about the disappointments of the last twelve months. While angrily shouting negative rants is not very conducive to progress, allow team participants and project stakeholders to voice concerns and find ways to incorporate their ideas into making projects better. Also allow everyone to explain why things will be better or why progress is going well.

Happy Festivus and Happy Holidays everyone!

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