The Lean Machine Helps USF Business Students

The Lean Machine Helps USF Business Students

I was invited to the University of San Francisco to be a guest industry coach in Professor Xiaohua Yang’s undergraduate International Negotiation class on November 9, 2012.


What was particularly striking about the experience was the quality of thinking that was being displayed by the USF students, as they grappled with the nuances of having to identify their team’s priorities and communicate them in such a way as to move the understanding of needs from both parties to a mutually beneficial conclusion.

It was also a chance to revisit that time in life between being a student, and being a permanent member of the work force.  With the economy showing some signs of steady recovery, but still being a tough place to find a job, the seniors in this group were feeling the pressure of this transition.

It occurred to me that I could probably use some interns, and if they understood what the modules within The Lean Machine did for a business, they would be getting some valuable experience in many business areas any “good employee” should know.

Most companies struggle with getting good QMS habits transferred from the quality professional into the work force, as it is only when the work force adopts those habits and understands where they fit into the quality system does the quality system actually have the desired effect in terms of risk management, waste reduction, and continuous improvement.

What if your new employee already came equipped with a solid understanding of why it was important to follow controlled procedures, or why supporting and contributing to internal audits or corrective actions was all related to the bigger picture of short cycle continuous improvement and a company’s need to identify risk and eliminate waste?

As a former military officer, these skills strike me as being parallel to what every new recruit needs to know to be considered a soldier.  Regardless of what role you have in a company, the quality system should be a set of basic activities everybody understands and knows how to perform.   As any decent quality system consultant will tell you, “it’s not a Quality systsem, think of it like a Business system.”

We have already taken on our first two interns.  You can download the LMBS job description for the internship program here.

Writen by David Smithstein, CEO


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