As you prepare your organization’s at least partial return to the office, I urge you to take the time to reflect on what you’ve learned about the work. Treat the four months since the Covid-19 pandemic sent millions of workers in various occupations to shelter and work at home as an experiment. The slice of the workforce that was able to move their work to home—estimated to be somewhat more than a third of all workers—includes the group known as knowledge workers.
Because lean principles have their roots in automobile manufacturing, people in the service industry are prone to bristle at the thought that their organization could benefit from them. Health care is a prime example and its workers sing a common refrain: My patients aren’t cars. They are human beings.