By Brad Beckstrom
You hear the word “lean” in business a lot. Writers talk about the lean startup. Optimal, minimal, hyper efficient strategies for getting a business to run like a well oiled machine. Big companies are in this game as well. Workers are asked to do more with less. In many cases, a lot more with a lot less. Fewer resources, fewer coworkers, “re-defined” compensation and benefit plans.
We tend to jump right in, even with a few of our own ideas to make things run just a little leaner. If we save enough money for the company, this could impact bonuses at the end of the year. We later realize that bonuses being impacted when lofty goals are missed is not always a good thing. I remember a recent car commercial, where an enlightened Mazda driver was now so confident in his epicness that he had no problem leaving his office at 5:15 PM. His co-workers stared in shock as he’s confidently strolled out the door, flipping his jacket over his shoulder. Coworkers wonder, what’s his secret? Apparently his new Mazda has made him confident enough to leave work on time. Actually, he may be headed to a second job to pay for it all. Maybe he just wants to get a jump on his one-hour commute. In the ad we’re not privy to that part of the story.
The Living Lean Philosophy
Let’s put a positive spin on this. Maybe this guy knows about living lean. Possibly he had come across studies that show the peak of productivity comes in at just under 40 hours a week. Maybe he just convinced his boss that he should ditch the commute altogether, save the company some money and get more done working from home, especially once you add in the time he’ll save not commuting. With this extra time, an entire new world of possibilities will open up to him.
If he’s smart, he will spend that newfound freedom, that extra time, exploring a living lean philosophy versus just putting in some extra work.