This Thursday, November 24th marks the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. I’d like to wish The KaiZone Community a very Happy Thanksgiving! And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends in the Great White North!
How will YOU give thanks?
We all have much for which we can be thankful. For faith, family and friends. For health and happiness. And for the truly fortunate, for wealth and prosperity. The Thanksgiving season provides us with an opportunity to reflect on all of the things for which we are grateful. But how many of us take the time to express that gratitude to others? After all, shouldn’t a holiday named Thanksgiving be about actually giving thanks?
This Thanksgiving – instead of mulling over that third helping of mashed potatoes or who is going to win the big game – find time to add real value to your holiday. Commit to show your gratitude in the year ahead for all that you have by giving back to those who are in need.
And what better way to give back to others than through Lean?
Lean in Service to the Greater Good
In today’s world, the challenges faced by charitable organizations have never been greater. As needs continue to rise and costs continue to climb, relying on donations and fund-raising alone to bridge the gap becomes ever more difficult. Sadly, stories of financial hardship in the nonprofit sector have become all too common.
In every challenge lies the opportunity for us to rise up and meet that challenge. However, challenges are not overcome with money alone, but with our human abilities to create, to solve problems and to innovate. That is why organizations in need are seeking to leverage the knowledge, skills and abilities of expert volunteers to improve their capacity to meet their most pressing challenges.
Developing capacity of people to continuously improve in the pursuit of an ideal. Does this sound familiar? It’s not just the essence of the Skills-Based Volunteering movement, but also the central mission of the Lean organization. That is why I truly believe that there is no single group that is better prepared to bring significant, meaningful change to the charitable sector than the Lean Community.
Inspiration from the Lean Community
Want a proof of concept? Need some inspiration? There are already many examples that demonstrate Lean’s potential for doing good.
- The Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) partnered with the Food Bank for New York City to cut wait times for food from 90 minutes down to an average of 18 minutes for the 1.5 million hungry customers that the food bank serves each year.
- Friend of The KaiZone Mike Grogan partnered with the nonprofit Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) organization to improve infant and maternal mortality rates during childbirth through the application of Lean principles.
- Far and away the most rewarding experience in my own career as a Lean professional has been the time I have spent volunteering at the Midland School for children with developmental disabilities. After working with the school faculty and staff to develop a better process for delivering students to their remote work locations, I still feel honored to have had the opportunity to support the budding careers of an amazing group of students.
A Call to Action
I believe that the principles of Lean give us the guidance to overcome our greatest challenges. And I believe in the collective skills, abilities, and generosity of the Lean community to bring that guidance to those who need it the most. That is why I am calling on each and every reader of this post to give thanks this year by giving back with Lean. Together, we can do a lot of good in the world. And isn’t that the ultimate show of Respect for People?
Free Book Giveaway!
And if my plea doesn’t move you, perhaps I can provide some added motivation. To inspire you in service to others – and as my way of saying thanks to The KaiZone Community – I’m giving away one FREE copy of The Toyota Way to Service Excellence signed by co-author Karyn Ross!
To enter, follow these two easy steps:
- Subscribe to TheKaiZone.com by entering your email address at the top of the page. Already a subscriber? Go to step 2.
- Use the comments section below and tell us how you will commit to serving others through Lean in the year ahead.
Entries must be received by midnight EST on December 31st, 2016. One winner will be drawn at random and will be notified via the email address provided.
Please consider sharing this post to help others join the Lean volunteerism movement. I – and many, many others – would be very grateful.