Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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02 JUL 2010      

Motivation, Maslow & Lean Manufacturing

Understanding The Human Side

Lean practitioners have long recognized “The Human Side” as critical for success. Human, rather than technical, considerations are usually responsible when Lean initiatives fall short. Our new web page, Motivation, Maslow & Lean, helps explain this phenomenon.

Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" is a simple, effective and practical way to understand much human behavior. It is a management classic that many of us vaguely recall it from some long-ago study. This article summarizes the original 1943 paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation" and relates it to some specific aspects of Lean.

Of course, the human psyche requires more than a triangle and five levels for real insight. But,Maslow is a good place to start.

You may also want to review our articles on Socio-Technical Systems which view the subject from a different, but also valid, perspective. Finally, our video, The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing, illustrates many of the principles from these articles.

I hope this information is helpful to your efforts. As always, we are available for consulting and training on your Lean initiatives and Facility Planning.

Best Regards,

Quarterman Lee


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The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing


This unique video illustrates Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and many aspects of Socio-Technical Systems. In it real workers explain how they designed, built and operated their own workcell.

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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video