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Orderliness In Business

vs. confusion

Organizing my thoughts and surroundings for greater achievement

To practice Orderliness I will:

  • organize my work area for efficiency
  • pick up after myself
  • put things back where they belong
  • spend time planning
  • order my thoughts to communicate clearly

    “Order is as Order does”
    -Matt Schmucki

    Being clutter free and having a clean space is hardly a new concept. So why is it difficult to achieve? Why can the spring clean standard not be maintained? Perhaps it is due to the notion that cleaning and orderliness is a task occasionally performed and not viewed as a method or behavior. What method could possibly be used to maintain a clean, uncluttered space that optimizes efficiency? Taiichi Ohno’s 5S’s:

    1. Seiri – Sort – Eliminate whatever is not needed for this area
    2. Seiton – Set In Order – Organize what remains by neatly arranging
    3. Seiso – Shine – Clean the work area
    4. Seiketsu – Standardize – Have a system to maintain 5S
    5. Shitsuke – Sustain – Make of the culture and behaviors by forming a habit of always following 5S

    5S is a methodology to unclutter a space, optimize efficiency, and maintain this new standard. Although popularized by Toyota’s Taiichi Ohno, Henry Ford has his own version of Cleaning, Arranging, Neatness, Disciplining, and Ongoing (CANDO) in the 1920s. These ideas are not new and have a proven track record. However, being tested and proven does not make it easy to use. 5S is so much more than a tool; it is a cultural and behavioral change agent.

    By focusing on the Sustain portion of 5S, it is possible to create a behavioral change that is long-lasting and directly impacts the character trait or orderliness. Behavioral change is not a short process and is not easy. Companies will call a 5S implementation a failure when a change is not sustained. To sustain a change, it may take months or even years to demonstrate. Sustain takes effort and concentration. Perhaps the implementations have not truly failed, the focus was just removed too quickly. Return the focus to making a concentrated effort to follow a new standard. Create reviews to monitor progress. With attention to performance in following a new standard, it is possible to create behavioral change towards a more orderly character.

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