Bruce Lee and the Ideal State

List of atheists (surnames L to M)

Bruce Lee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christian always has good quotes from historical people that seem to relate to lean.  I thought it would be fitting then to center this post on a quote.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

—Bruce Lee

When solving a problem, whether it is designing a new process, eliminating defects or developing a strategy, it is necessary to have the ideal state in mind.  The ideal state is what perfection looks like.  It is how the perfect process works.  Zero defects.  Everyone aligned to the strategy that will exceed the businesses goals.

I know it sounds…perfect.  But that is the point.  The ideal state is there to set the direction of the problem solving.  Without it, what looks like progress may not be progress.  We may be heading in the opposite direction of progress.

The ideal state may never be reached but it gives us something to aim at.


Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Matt Matt is a Lean Thinker, practitioner and blogger. By integrating his 10+ years of lean implementation and problem solving experience, Matt is able to draw on his successes and failures to tackle new challenges by presenting fresh perspectives and results-driven solutions. Through his exposure to multiple business operation facets in divergent industries that include aluminum, electronics, auto, HVAC, and consumer goods, he is able to provide real-life lean solutions to everyday business challenges.

His cornerstone belief is that all levels of the business unit should be educated on lean thinking and principles. To this point, Matt diligently challenges his own lean knowledge while working with all business levels ranging from human resources, accounting and the manufacturing floor to senior managers, executives and presidents. By adhering to this continuous learning philosophy, Matt is able to focus his lean efforts to provide continuous improvement.

Matt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Among his other accomplishments, he is a certified Shainin Red X Journeyman and is certified in Statistical analysis and Kepner-Tregoe problem solving methodology. He is proud to have played a large and significant role in starting the Smith County Lean Consortium in Tyler, TX.

Matt and I share Purdue University as our Alma Mater.  I also enjoy reading his blog regularly and am pleased to have him contributing to Lean Leadership today as a guest blogger.

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article. Your feedback is appreciated.  You can check out my Facebook page and continue the discussion there as well.


About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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