Lean and the Law of Cosmic Laziness

Posted on March 22, 2013 | in Kaizen, New Ideas, Respect For People, Time Savings | by
law of cosmic laziness

Photo from hyperthetically.blogspot.com

My seventh grade math teacher at my little school in Indiana was a fellow named Matt Aukerman. In addition to being a great teacher and funny guy, he introduced us to something called the Law of Cosmic Laziness.

His definition for this “law” was that all of us over time will find the easiest, most minimally effort-exerting way to complete tasks. As we repeat tasks and processes, we gradually will find cheats, tricks, or improvements so as to reduce our efforts required or simplify them overall.

Isn’t that the essence of Lean – not only waste reduction but reducing wear and tear on process users as well as Kaizen and finding improvements in processes?

As we reduce waste activities in our processes we save time, we save money, and we become more flexible to meet the expectations of our customers. If we reduce the strain on our operators, they recover faster and are more energized as opposed to remaining physically and mentally exhausted.

When we identify better ways to do things – whether it’s minimizing the physical toll taken on operators or using our time and resources more efficiently – and we share them across all users, we as an organization become wiser and more in sync in addition to becoming more efficient and flexible.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Lean and the Law of Cosmic Laziness”

  1. Rick Bohan says:

    I’ve found that sometimes folks figure out ways to do tasks more simply…and other times they just get locked in on an inefficient method because it becomes familiar.

    • Lee Baxter says:

      I have also found that most peoples version of doing something more simply is to get someone else to do the difficult parts.

    • Chad Walters says:

      Rick –

      I don’t dispute that. However, if folks get locked into the method then customer requirements aren’t changing or leadership is not working with them to find ways for the company as a whole to become more efficient. If managers were pressed to find ways to improve, those methods and the resources used to run them would be changing. Maybe those workers/scenarios are simply not being pressed into becoming better.

  2. Sandy Harmon says:

    The teachers’ definition & philosophy does not say anything about how quality often suffers when “the law” has its way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Lean Blitz in your Inbox!

Subscribe to a daily digest of Lean Blitz posts by clicking here!