What Do Johnny Nash and Lean Manufacturing Have in Common?

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I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a good conference or seminar about a relevant topic. One such conference I recently attended was the Valve Manufacturer’s Association of America Manufacturing Workshop, held in Detroit in May 2013.

I attended sessions on lean manufacturing that focused on leadership (by Karen Seman, Marketing Director Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center), transitioning to daily Kaizen (by Mark R. Hamel, author of The Kaizen Event Fieldbook and faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute), and lean transformation (by Ken Branco of REVV International). I also participated in factory visits to the FORD Rouge Factory and to SALK Signature Sound in Pontiac, MI.

The conference provided the inspiration and opportunity for some blue-sky thinking. The session leaders presented excellent material that fostered reflection on what was and was not working in my own workplace. During those three days, released from the day-to-day issues faced in my normal routine, I was free to think openly about Lean, my role in my organization, and how the two should evolve.

Upon my return home, the messages from the workshops still lingered in my head. As my children and I watched a movie together we were all struck by the lyrics of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now. Young children love repetition, so soon it was on repeat mode on the iPad. As I listened to the tune over and over again, I had an epiphany. This song is about Lean! Who knew Johnny was so ahead of his time!?

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This song is about Lean! Who knew Johnny was so ahead of his time!?


Additional Reading

Operational Excellence for the Future of Manufacturing

Smart Operations: The New OpEx for Manufacturing, Part I 


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