The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations for Lean Manufacturing
and Continuous Improvement in Business

Related Quotes      Business      Goals      Change      Leadership      Learning

NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

Welcome to my page of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement quotations. I've been assigned to a 5S value stream mapping team at my job, and so of course now the quote addict in me must start a page for these topics. I'll add more down the road as I dig into it all. –Terri, 2006 July 19th

There are so many men who can figure costs, and so few who can measure values. ~Author Unknown

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation. ~Andrew Grove

The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize. ~Shigeo Shingo

Your lean process should be a lean process. ~Author Unknown

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~Peter F. Drucker

Continuous improvement is not about the things you do well — that's work. Continuous improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work. The headaches, the things that slow you down, that's what continuous improvement is all about. ~Bruce Hamilton

If you need a new process and don't install it, you pay for it without getting it. ~Ken Stork

Everything can be improved. ~Clarence W. Barron

Willful waste brings woeful want. ~Thomas Fuller

There are many experts on how things have been done up to now. If you think something could use a little improvement, you are the expert. ~Robert Brault,

Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong. ~Author unknown

Don't waste time learning the "tricks of the trade." Instead, learn the trade. ~James Charlton

Waste is a tax on the whole people. ~Albert W. Atwood

A bad system will beat a good person every time. ~W. Edwards Deming

It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality. ~Harold Geneen

We are too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet. ~Author Unknown

Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship. ~Benjamin Franklin

Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless. ~Thomas A. Edison

It is more than probable that the average man could, with no injury to his health, increase his efficiency fifty percent. ~Walter Scott

It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about? ~Henry David Thoreau, letter to H.G.O. Blake, 1857 November 16th

A relentless barrage of "why's" is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often. ~Shigeo Shingo

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. ~Bill Gates

What gets measured, gets managed. ~Peter Drucker

The moral of this fable is that if you're not sure where you're going, you're liable to end up someplace else. ~Robert F. Mager, Preparing Objectives for Programmed Instruction, 1961

Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before. ~Shigeo Shingo

If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing. ~W. Edwards Deming

[N]ot everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. ~William Bruce Cameron

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. ~C. Northcote Parkinson, 1958

On the bathing-tub of King T'ang the following words were engraved: "If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation." ~Confucian Analects

An environment where people have to think brings with it wisdom, and this wisdom brings with it kaizen [continuous improvement]. ~Teruyuki Minoura

The impossible is often the untried. ~Jim Goodwin

If you don't have time to do it right you must have time to do it over. ~Author Unknown

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. ~Aaron Levenstein

Different isn't always better, but better is always different. ~Author Unknown

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson

The price of light is less than the cost of darkness. ~Arthur Nielsen

Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest. ~Author Unknown

The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Don't water your weeds. ~Harvey MacKay

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble

Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes, and procedures. ~Tom Peters

Never confuse movement with action. ~Ernest Hemingway

I don't like a man to be too efficient. He's likely to be not human enough. ~Felix Frankfurter

If all efficiency experts were laid end to end — I'd be in favor of it. ~Al Diamond

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~Aldous Huxley

One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. ~Sidney Howard

It is better to stir up a question without deciding it, than to decide it without stirring it up. ~Joseph Joubert

A certificate does not make you certified. Attitude, performance, commitment to self and team — these and a certificate make you certified. ~Author Unknown

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