Gandalf is a Lean Thinker

Towards the end the Hobbit part one, Gandalf is speaking with Galadriel and he pontificates of the greatness that small things can bring…

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

As an improvement practitioner, I have seen that business leaders often think like Saruman… it is only a great project or idea that can keep this company growing… but I, like Gandalf, have found the opposite to be true.

Lesson: Don’t ignore the Hobbitses in your work and life.

Fix it!

If it’s broken, stop and fix it.

No better way to sum up this principle of continuous improvement, than advice from Weekend Update’s Financial Expert and Continuous Improvement guru, Oscar Rodgers…

Take it one step at a time:

  • Identify the problem, fix it!
  • Identify another problem, fix it!
  • Repeat as necessary until it’s all fixed!

(The full SNL skit in unavailable on the web at the moment. If it becomes available again I’ll post the link)