Work Slow

Common wisdom suggests that a company should generate as many transactions as possible at the lowest possible cost. But this only makes sense when the business environment permits negative externalities, and we can only externalize costs for so long.

Bad product means increased marketing costs and lost market share.
Deferred maintenance breaks equipment.
Burnout leads to hiring costs and weakened efficiency.
And environmental degradation eventually destroys markets.

As the 21st century progresses and the era of cheap energy unravels, sustainable organizations will move away from transaction quantity and minimized costs. Instead, they’ll focus on producing maximum value for all stakeholders, and that means working slow.

Slow is accurate, and accurate is fast.” - Bruce Lee

The most resilient organizations already focus their efforts on building systems that maximize stakeholder value. They make it a central feature of every design process to comprehensively understand the costs and effects of what they make and how they make it. They understand that reducing costs and reducing waste are not the same thing.

This doesn’t mean we can or should prevent all negative effects of production. It simply means we can no longer pay the escalating costs of sweeping by-products under the rug or kicking the can down the road. Consumers and our own conscience will not long tolerate it.

Our only unlimited resource is human thought. Work Slow is a system for maximizing its potential. It works because there will always be a market for quality.

To find out how you can nudge your organization towards Work Slow, book a Gemba Session.


5 Habits of Healthy Organizations

  1. Work Slow
  2. Build a Library
  3. Respect the Cook
  4. Shake Out the Rug
  5. Share the Spoils

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