Sometimes Lean's fixation on waste strikes me as almost pathological. There's a focus on controlling things that borders on being what Herr Freud might call anal retentive. Does anyone else think "perfectionism and a compulsive seeking of order and tidiness..." describes the general zeitgeist of the Lean world? 'Cause that's actually from a definition of what it means to be anal.
I ask these questions with some trepidation, not seeking to malign, make fun or insult anyone... nor to excuse myself from my own psychological fixations and shortcomings. And I'm also not saying I buy into Freud's whole theory of psychosexual development. I'm just wondering if the word choice is more than a coincidence. Might it represent an unconscious aspect of the Lean proponent's psyche? Because if the focus on eliminating waste is indeed connected with a particular stage of psychological development, might that imply that there is a more mature approach further along the spectrum? Perhaps something that accepts messy creation instead of pursuing efficiency and tidy expulsion of waste?
Guys like Gordon MacKenzie and Richard Branson are among the least anal retentive guys I've ever read about... and their approaches to work are worlds away from Lean (as I understand it). They're messy. Wasteful even. And joyful to a degree that is absent in Lean circles. And oh yeah, they're profitable too.
Or maybe I'm just full of it...