Recently, I had the honor of working with McKee Foods and their HR team out of Gentry, Arkansas to capture the story of their journey with lean. As I’ve shared this with other HR teams, I believe it’s worth noting why I think it matters.

It’s not so much that this HR group has done more with lean than other companies. The greatest value in the story is that when they first started their now 5-year journey, it probably didn’t look like much of anything was happening.

Most HR teams start out with very basic concepts when they begin working with lean. Even when they start doing problem solving activities, they typically work on very simple ones that are often only marginally successful.

As long as they don’t give up and keep learning over time, they can become much more sophisticated in how they apply lean to their work. For most teams, it can take a number of years before they’re truly ready to support the lean efforts of their organizations. It can be difficult for the group to appreciate from the beginning of the journey how long it might really take to feel a sense of momentum and accomplishment.

That’s why one thing I often say to groups is if you’re not having fun, change it up!

It’s important to enjoy the journey along the way and appreciate each step for what it is. To take a look at this article on McKee Foods, click here.

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