Does Neatness Count ? --- dont put your briefcase under your desk! | [node:field-byline] | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

Does Neatness Count ? --- dont put your briefcase under your desk!

October 27, 2008
by Joe Bormel
| Reprints

Does Neatness Count? According to the Lean practice, 5S, it's critical.

On the front page of today's WSJ, there's an interesting article:

Neatness Counts at Kyocera and at Others in the 5S Club- Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Sustain; Getting Mr. Scovie to Go Through His Boxes (link).

The article might be worth a quick read, especially if you keep your briefcase under your desk. Apparently, that's very bad. I didn't know. (As we've discussed previously in

"How to multi-task", some folks realize that there's a strong connection between clutter, effectiveness, and emotions critical to focus.)

If you need to take a break from your work and can spare 4 minutes, go the

video tab.


comments tab is interesting as well, with a CEO, Wayne Baimbridge, sharing some experience.

Just as Carol and Charles indicate above, if you can't communicate the "vision" so that everyone buys into the idea as a good one, passive aggressive behavior starts to work it's way into the picture. Unfortunately, once managers and coworkers decide they are not going to follow a program regardless of it's obvious benefits, it creates a work environment of authoritarian proportions that evaporate any benefit that the original idea brought to the table. Without good leadership in management that can communicate the "vision" of any good idea, it's doomed for failure at it's outset. It was the lesson of my career.

The article reviews the healthcare experience using 5S at Virginia Mason in Seattle in 2002, driving standardization into shared space of doctors, nurses and assistants.

Does anyone have healthcare experience to share regarding deploying Lean / 5S for performance improvement?

The Health IT Summits gather 250+ healthcare leaders in cities across the U.S. to present important new insights, collaborate on ideas, and to have a little fun - Find a Summit Near You!


See more on