Mike Wroblewski, Lean Institute of USA director, wrote on his Got Boondoggle? blog about how to avoid the mentality of “that’s not my job” in your facility.
Titled “4 Ways to Eliminate “That’s Not My Job” Thinking,” Wroblewski offers suggestions on what one should do when confronted with coworkers or ourselves developing a specialized and close-minded attitude toward different departments that are “not my job” or responsibility.
To be a bit more specific, Wroblewski cites a few examples:
It is easy to step over a piece of trash at work, thinking “That’s not my job” because we have a janitorial crew to do this task.
It is easy to let a defect go down the line, thinking “That’s not my job” because it the inspector’s job to catch it.
I agree with Wroblewski in that, in order to help our company stay compeititve and efficient, we must constantly look to improve and help others do the same within out organization, but, frankly, in the comments of his post, someone suggested that one must be careful not to “step on toes” when we’re looking for solutions to problems outside of our own territory or turf.
This is a good point, and I think that’s correct, but it definitely shouldn’t keep us from trying to continually improve. We just need to learn how to use diplomacy and coax cooperation to achieve our goals.