What is the Zero Waste Workweek?

Where is the Value in the Working Hours? Classical Company vs. Dark Side of Lean vs. Lean Company. © 2013 Jens R. Woinowski, leanself.org

I’m sure most of my readers have heard of or read the book “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris. Today, I want to put something against it that is even better: The Zero Waste Workweek.

The secret is to align the value created for your employer, the client, and you. Look at the graph above. There are three extreme types of companies I can imagine.

The Classical Company looks like on the upper left. It is selfish, tries to maximize its own added value, and needs to deliver some value to the client to survive. Accidentally, some alignment between your company and you may happen.

The Dark Side of Lean depicts companies who have discovered Lean but severely misunderstand it. This is the 1990’s type of Lean which focuses on cost savings. Because of the cost fixation, client value is only improved marginally. You are missing in the picture because your employer completely forgets you or does not care about empowerment. It could also be that you are not in the company any more.

A true Lean Company understands value and empowerment and maximizes value creation for all three players in the game.

This also shows why self-employment is so attractive for many people. If you are your own company, you have one player less to take care of. And self-employed people can only keep up their business if they maximize client value. But beware. If you own your business and end up with the Dark Side of Lean, the consequences can be terrible.

But was is a “Zero Waste Workweek?” It is quite simple: A week in which most of the working hours are for creating value, not for waste. The three types of companies give a rough sketch of waste: Everything that is not in the circle of one of the three parties is waste from their point of view.

What do you think? Where is your employer located in that picture?

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