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Your coworkers are reluctant to help you out when you need support.

There’s an old saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Unfortunately, many office environments face a similar problem regarding balancing capacity and demand. Because the incoming workload fluctuates, it never matches a static capacity. This effect is compounded when work is assigned to individual employees rather than being pulled from a shared pile.


Your coworkers are reluctant to help you out when you need support.

How this affects you

This is an ongoing problem in Lean office environments where people have their own piles of work, rather than a shared workload, like on an assembly line.

Instead of operating as a team where everyone contributes to a group effort, individuals in the office are only responsible for their own slice of the workload. As customer demand fluctuates, employees alternate from being on top of things to being swamped. This type of environment makes people less likely to assist others—after all, their own workload could dramatically increase at any time.

Action to take

As workloads rise and fall, like they periodically do, offer to help others when you can. If you help with someone else’s peaks during your lulls…(continued)

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Why this works

The Why this Works section is only available in print copies of Whaddaya Mean I Gotta Be Lean?.


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