Advancing Equity and Social Justice through Lean

Or,  Advancing Lean through Equity and Social Justice (ESJ).

Lean equals respect for people, a fundamental part of ESJ. Isn’t it a relief when strategic initiatives dovetail, and one body of work supports the other? Or perhaps they are combined to yield better outcomes? Inequities are problems we need to solve, and Lean is a way to create problem solvers.

The two pillars of Lean are continuous improvement and respect for people. These are mutually reinforcing, where we develop continuous improvement by building a culture of respecting the people who do the work as the experts.

Both Lean and Equity and Social Justice efforts require thoughtful intention, a willingness to honestly evaluate our practices, a spirit of innovation, and persistence in the face of obstacles. And most importantly, both advocate ‘Respect for People’.

When asked to share their thoughts on how we are achieving Equity and Social Justice, several employees shared their Lean thinking:

People create social conditions, and people can change them. We learn and improve every day.

Improvement by the people shows respect for the people.

-Terra Milles

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