Posts tagged ‘Japan’

October 19, 2011

Working Wednesday::5S Methodology

by heatherkp

I recently learned about a fascinating methodology used in Japan for organizing the workplace.  I have a love of most things Japanese and this methodology is one I feel could be effectively implemented by many business’s or individuals even though it’s primary application seems to be in the manufacturing sector (Toyota and Canon are examples of Japanese companies that have implemented this system).  I tend to better remember systems that employ a simple name mnemonic‘s.  Apparently the Japanese agree!  Here’s how the 5 S Methodology works by the following phases: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining.   I think it’s so simple it’s brilliant!

  • Seiri or Sorting

  • Seiton or Straightening (setting in order / stabilize)

  • Seiso or systematic cleaning

  • Seiketsu or Standardizing

  • Shitsuke or Sustaining (sustaining the discipline or self-discipline)

Main objectives in the 5S methodology include improve productivity and quality.  Another benefit is that this system encourages each person to take ownership of every item and their surroundings.  This is where personal creative participation should be encouraged (weather it be getting the children involved or the employees!)  Health and safety improvements can be included as additional benefits.  As with all systematic changes that individuals or companies may choose to adopt, they must be clearly understood by all participants and there should be clear goals associated with the implementation of such a system for it to be effective.  If you would like to learn more about this methodology check out Wikipedia to start with.  From there you can find many other informative articles related to “lean principles“.

March 16, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Do Unto Others…

by heatherkp

Volunteer and help others out when and however you can.  Online is great but in person is even better!  In the wake of the tragedies in Japan the timing of this post is fitting.

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives the rose.~Chinese proverb

I grew up volunteering my time with people who needed assistance in my church (elderly, single working moms etc) and learning the value of giving of yourself to others.  My grandfather is one person I thank dearly for the life lessons he has taught me about giving.  He was a successful Doctor who decided to give up his practice and move to Africa with 5 children (ranging from 4 to 16-or thereabout) to become a missionary Doctor.  This kind of giving is BIG~HUGE and not something that all of us feel we could ever do.  That’s okay though because it’s not the size of the giving that matters!   The values that this experience instilled in all of his children (my mom, aunts and uncles) was truly inspiring, life lasting and has been passed down through generations.  Every one of his children learned more than I can imagine about helping others and seeing what it means to really have nothing and how much a small act of kindness or service can make a difference in someone’s life.

Volunteering and giving of yourself can be expressed in so many different ways.  I think that the most important lesson to be learned about giving is that it should be done from the heart and with the intention to truly bless the person receiving your gift.   I am beginning to understand that we can all be good givers by setting this intention.  Please don’t give of yourself if you are going to resent it or feel begrudgingly toward the receiver.  It also helps if the things you do to help others are things you love to do anyways.  That way it’s a gift to you as well as those on the receiving end.  In fact a perfect example of this is a smile or the smallest kindness which has the power to change your attitude and in turn change someone else.  These small acts have the power to change the world.  If you want to read more about giving (and receiving) click over to Christine Kane’s Blog for a beautiful post.

Giving in other ways is certainly important as well.  If you are inclined to donate money for the Japanese relief fund please click here.  Some people also feel very comfortable giving to Red Cross which is certainly another very reputable charity for disasters like this.

I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.-Antonio Porchia, writer (1886-1968)

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