Executive Briefings

Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain Your Company

Those of you grew up with Sesame Street may recall that each episode was brought to you by a different letter of the alphabet. I experienced my own version of this phenomenon three years ago, when much of my job suddenly became all about the letter "S" - or more accurately five of them.

I'm referring, of course, to 5S - sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. Countless companies throughout the world have used this well-known Lean tool to significantly improve their workplace organization and maintenance. And in late 2011 my company decided to become one of them in a really big way by challenging 36 of our facilities to become fully 5S'd at once - and tapping me to oversee their efforts. 

In answer to your most likely questions, yes, almost all of them ultimately succeeded, and no, I don't think our success was a fluke. In fact I believe it's possible for almost any organization to pull off an equally effective 5S deployment - provided they have the right resources, mindset and level of commitment in place.

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I'm referring, of course, to 5S - sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. Countless companies throughout the world have used this well-known Lean tool to significantly improve their workplace organization and maintenance. And in late 2011 my company decided to become one of them in a really big way by challenging 36 of our facilities to become fully 5S'd at once - and tapping me to oversee their efforts. 

In answer to your most likely questions, yes, almost all of them ultimately succeeded, and no, I don't think our success was a fluke. In fact I believe it's possible for almost any organization to pull off an equally effective 5S deployment - provided they have the right resources, mindset and level of commitment in place.

Read Full Article