Toyota uses the metaphor the Lake and the Rocks to refer to problems. lakerocks

The lake is the work in process, or inventory, or maybe partially completed tax returns and the rocks are the problems that slow the process.

Anyone that has boated knows how rocks can slow your boating pleasure. They can ding the boat, the hull, the propeller or just plain “hang the boat up” or run aground.

Lowering the level of the water will allow you to better see the rocks. Translating this to your business means the less unfinished work (water in the lake) the more visible the causes of problems become.

Of course, you will also discover more and deeper rocks. Don’t despair, a business that wants to be lean, IS always working in the lean process as the boater will be ever watching for rocks and snags.

As the last week in August is here, take time to finish some of those leftover summer projects (lower the water) and see if there are some problems (rocks) that need attending to for a fabulous fall.