Richard Maun – Standing Still Is Work

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Standing Still Is Work

19 February 2013

When was the last time you engaged in a process improvement activity in your business? Or maybe at home?

We all waste time through inefficient processing, where we have too many steps that don’t add any value. For example, when we staple paper together the only part of the process that adds value is the moment when we push the stapler down. Fishing around in a desk drawer to find the stapler, then walking to the cupboard to find the staples and then hearing that crunch sound as the staple jams mid-cycle is all a waste.

I use this example to make the point that process improvement doesn’t have to be concerned with the complexity of a large factory. It can be small in scale and entirely to do with smoothing our daily stresses and giving us back an extra 5 minutes of free time.

The secret of success is not found in a clever formula though. It’s about observation, because as the mantra has it:

See it – sort it
Measure it – manage it

To see it all we need to do is to stand still and look. The Japanese would call this Gemba.

We can call it Tea & Biscuit Time, when we take a moment to dunk a Hobnob and look around us to see what exactly is going on.

Standing still could be the best 5 minutes of work we do this week, because it will give us the stillness to see wasted effort, which in turn creates the opportunity for improvement.

I think I’ll sort out the black hole of a stationary draw and refill the stapler!

What will you do?


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact