Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tai Chi and Lean Sigma?





I wake up each day and right after visiting the little boy's room, I exercise, primarily, qigong, tai chi and if motivated 50 or less pushups.  That’s right, “or less.”  I usually end up doing 40 because it hurts to hit the 50 mark that I do about once every five attempts.  (Several times, I did 62 push-ups to match my age, but that really hurt and going back down to 50 "or less" is pretty dang good.  It’s a routine that I don’t look at as something healthy or mental or spiritual.  I look at it as part of my Lean Enterprise training that I learned from 5S.

I’m not sure if there’s a tacit insult in there where I have to resort to scientific business management techniques to run a part of my life.

Quick down and dirty explanation of 5S represents the acronyms for words that start with “S” more specifically:

Sort;
Set in Order or Straighten;
Sweep and Shine
Standardize;
Sustain.

Or as the Japanese has it:

Seri;
Seiton;
Seiso;
Seiketstu;
Shitsuke.

That from a non-S translation means:

Tidy up;
Organize for efficiency
Clean your mess, everyone’s a janitor;
Standardize a regimen
Discipline.

In the oil fields where I work, I use the following explanation:

Tidy up your “S” and don’t hoard stuff you don’t need;
Set up your “S” for efficiency;
Clean up your “S”
Standardize your “S” to support the first three piles of “S”
Don’t be a lazy “S” and do what I tell you!

Of course, it’s not the true intent of the 5S definition, but it gets some of the points across and in an environment where controls are difficult, the best we can do is use language to initiate to be a tools instead of an encumbrance.

Back to my daily “Seiketstu”. 

Standardizing a routine serves many purposes.  First, it doesn't require thinking.  It’s like placing my keys at the same place each time, every time.  When I need it, I know where to go.  Problems arise when it’s not at the normal place, which in my case, is on a wall mount key holder.

Standardizing our workplace and home are fundamental in reducing cycle time and the nagging variations that results to defects.  Lose our keys and we spend time trying to locate it, that, when found, gets us in our car in a bad mood, driving faster than normal, running a red light, getting a ticket, and finally ending up at work late, with the boss on our butts, all preventable by putting the keys where they’re supposed to be…on the key hook!!!

Which I’d like to end up with a small piece on Shitsuke or the act of discipline.  During my early karate days, I learned the word “kiritstu” as a term that was more internally engrained, to define the “law of discipline.”  Shitsuke is the "act of discipline," a reminder to kick start my total mind, body and spirit, (to standardize) my morning martial arts routine.  This I started about ten years ago; now a “Standard" process, and I haven't looked back since.


Can’t think of a better way to start up a day.


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