I just ran across a great blog entry by Mike Schaffner called Implementing Lean: Are you willing to be relentless? I like his observation that Lean, Six Sigma (and I would include Lean-Agile) is not a set of tools and techniques; instead, at their heart, it is a way of life, the fundamental way we will do business. "It is only when we buy into this at the emotional level will we be able to be relentless in our use of it. And being relentless is the key." To underscore this, he offers a couple of great quotes from "Lean Six Sigma That Works" and from the Gemba Panta Rei blog by Bill Carreira of Carreira Consulting and Bill Trudell of Relentless Excellence LLC.
"The psychology of Lean Six Sigma is not just about improvement. It's not even about continuous improvement. It is about relentless improvement. To be truly successful in applying or implementing Lean Six Sigma, you and your organization have to have the mindset of relentless improvement. This means a never-ending stream of efforts to drive improvement into your organization, product or service quality, and profitability."
"It's not what's in the factory, it's what's in the minds of people. It's a will to make things better. It's a will to personally make things better. It's a will to make things better that is absolutely relentless and determined. It's a will to improve quality, customer service, safety, the work environment, cost no matter how challenging."
(Emphases added by Trott)